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Acupuncture for infertility

How acupuncture can help infertility

Infertility affects a significant proportion of men and women. Increasingly, more couples who find it difficult to conceive are turning to natural and alternative medicine for a solution. Many of these complementary therapies work not only to regulate the menstrual cycle and improve sperm quality, but benefit the whole body. Acupuncture is one of these natural therapies that are proving to have beneficial and positive results for couples who experience infertility.

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and has been used for the treatment of infertility since 11CE.  However, it’s only in recent times that acupuncture has been recognised by the World Health Organization as a treatment for infertility.

Acupuncture, Infertility and Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, conception is understood to be based on the kidney qi (energy) in both men and women. The kidneys contain the essence needed for reproduction and growth and are also linked to regulating menstruation, the uterus and foetal nourishment.

Acupuncture is based on the essential principle that illness may occur if a person’s qi is insufficient or imbalanced. Therefore, if the function of the kidneys is weak or deficient, problems such as irregular periods or amenorrhoea can appear and will hinder conception or cause infertility. Acupuncture works to restore balance and stimulate qi in the body by inserting needles into specific acupoints in the body.

Infertility as a result of liver qi stagnation occurs primarily in women. Acupuncture during a specific time in the menstrual cycle, combined with herbal formulas, can work to clear the congestion. Like Traditional Chinese treatments, acupuncture is a holistic medicine. When using acupuncture to treat infertility, dietary changes, counselling or relaxation techniques may also be recommended to ensure the balance of the body and mind.

Acupuncture for infertility: the benefits
Scientific studies have indicated that acupuncture is beneficial for stress relief and works to aid relaxation, both of which are related to infertility. Acupuncture is linked to increased rates of pregnancy through stimulating and regulating ovulation, regulating oestrogen levels, reducing the impact of stress on the reproductive system and improving energy and circulation, all of which can increase chances of infertility. Furthermore, research has also shown acupuncture can directly affect hormone balance and uterine blood flow, enhancing fertility and so the chance to conceive.

Acupuncture has also seen positive results in improving outcomes for men and women during IVF cycles. Acupuncture can be used for women throughout the IVF cycle to increase blood flow to the uterus and reduce anxiety associated with infertility. Acupuncture can also be used on men with poor sperm morphology. Overall, acupuncture works to increase the chance of pregnancy while promoting general health and wellbeing.

When to start acupuncture for infertility
Generally, acupuncture treatment for infertility is recommended over a period of several months to precipitate conception. When using acupuncture to support your IVF cycle there are a range of options available, including treatments leading up to the day of the transfer and beyond. There are minimal risks associated with acupuncture for infertility. Visit a practitioner to see if this treatment is suitable for you.there are many who specialise in acupuncture for infertility.