Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy
According to statistics about one in seven couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving naturally.
Acupuncture can not only support both females and males who are going through IVF treatment but also couples who are trying to conceive naturally.
I have special interest in fertility and pregnancy. I am offering treatments that can support:
- Male and Female Infertility
- IVF treatment
- Turning breech babies
- Labour Induction
- Ante-natal and Post-natal Pregnancy care
- Irregular periods
- Lack of periods
- Painful periods
- No sings of ovulation
- Threatened miscarriage
The British Acupuncture Council has looked in to research on how acupuncture can help the IVF process. A study from 2018 confirms that acupuncture helps during ovarian stimulation by improving ovarian blood supply. The clinical pregnancy rate was 52.6% in the acupuncture group versus 33.3% in the sham acupuncture group and 32.8% in the observational group.
Acupuncture may benefit in the treatment of infertility.
- Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs (Ho 2009, Anderson 2007), which can improve the thickness of the endometrial lining, so increasing the chances of embryo implantation.
- promoting embryo implantation (Liu 2008).
- Increasing egg production (Jin 2009) and improving oocyte quality (Chen 2009), which could increase the chance of fertilisation.
- enhancing luteal function (Huang 2009) and regulating follicle stimulation hormone-receptor expression (Jin 2009).
- regulating fertility hormones – stress and other factors can disrupt the function of the hypothalamic pituitary-ovarian axis (HPOA). Acupuncture promotes the release of beta-endorphin in the brain, which regulates gonadatrophin releasing hormone from the hypothalamus, follicle stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland, and oestrogen and progesterone levels from the ovary (Anderson 2007).
- normalising cortisol and prolactin levels on IVF medication days (Magarelli 2008); reducing stress (Anderson 2007)
All these studies show that Acupuncture can help support your Natural Fertility. During your first appointment with me, I will look into your diet and see if there is anything you can do at home to support your fertility. Please remember it takes two to conceive a healthy baby, so sperm health is also important too.
How often I should have treatment?
You should be coming for regular appointments to boost your natural fertility. I normally recommend coming once a week, why that often you may ask? I always say to my patients that you need to think of Acupuncture as a supplement, you cannot take a supplement once a month and think this will boost my fertility? Or you cannot go the gym once a month, eat junk food and expect a lean and fit body?
Acupuncture needs regular treatment as treatment is focusing on nourishing your follicles or sperm, regulating your cycle and hormonal balance, and all this takes time, as your cycle could be 30 days, 60 days long or more if you suffer from PCOS. Every case is different and some may need fewer sessions then others. It is recommended you start treatment three months before conceiving. I tailor treatment according to your needs, as I want the absolute best for you, for your mental health and your fertility.
The same rule applies while going through the IVF process also because it takes about 100 days for your body to produce new follicles or sperm, so best to start attending acupuncture 3 months before IVF cycle. I know this is not always possible also some patients do not know this so do not worry, each treatment is still beneficial to you and your fertility so you can start having acupuncture treatment at any stage of your IVF journey. Sometimes during ovarian stimulation phase I may need to see you few times in one week to help support follicular growth but this depends on the result of each scan.
Where will I insert the needles?
This varies but mainly needles are inserted distally, on your legs, hands, forearms, or locally on your belly.
Acupuncture for pregnancy
Acupuncture can also support females during pregnancy and help with range of pregnancy-related conditions including:
- Morning Sickness
- Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction
Acupuncture for Pre Birth Preparation
I offer this set of treatments during the late stages of pregnancy, starting from 35 weeks. These treatments will help the woman to prepare for safe labour.
Acupuncture and Natural Induction
Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to help the body in its natural process of labour for post-term babies. Patients should attend labour induction treatment from 40 weeks for medical reasons or before medical induction. In my experience last minute Induction treatment can be less beneficial and it is good to start having treatment for Pre Birth Preparation from 35 weeks.
Here are some great articles and videos that you may find useful: