Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy
IVF Assistance with acupuncture
Are you hoping to conceive? Are you having trouble getting pregnant?
Acupuncture may be able to help.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It is often used as a form of alternative medicine.
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that acupuncture may be effective in treating fertility problems and improving pregnancy rates. For example, one study found that acupuncture improved pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).
If you are interested in trying acupuncture to improve your fertility or increase your chances of getting pregnant, make sure to consult with me, a qualified practitioner who has experience in this area.
How Does Acupuncture For Fertility Work?
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that has been used for centuries in Asia for the treatment of various conditions. The most common use of acupuncture in the Western world is for pain relief, but it is also effective for other conditions such as headaches, nausea, and anxiety.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s nervous system with thin needles that are inserted into specific points on the body. This stimulation causes the release of chemicals in the brain that help to reduce pain or improve other symptoms.
Most experts recommend one 45-minute treatment per week for several months to see the full effects. Acupuncture can help improve fertility by regulating hormones and increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained professional. There is a small risk of bleeding or bruising at the needle site, but serious side effects are rare.
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 a special interest in fertility and pregnancy and I am a fertility support trained acupuncturist. I am offering treatments that can support:
Advanced Fertility Diploma
Male and Female Infertility
Turning breech babies
Ante-natal and Post-natal Pregnancy care
Lack of periods
No signs of ovulation
The British Acupuncture Council has looked into 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 The Treatment Of Infertility
Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs (Ho 2009, Anderson 2007), 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), 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, a 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 they need to think of Acupuncture as a supplement, you cannot take a supplement once a month and think this will boost their fertility?
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 than others. I tailor treatment according to your needs, as I want the absolute best for you, for your mental health and your fertility. You can continue the complementary and alternative methods alongside conventional medical practice.
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 the IVF cycle. Sometimes during the ovarian stimulation phase, I may need to see you a 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 a range of pregnancy-related conditions including:
Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction
Acupuncture For Pre Birth Preparation
Closer to the birth, acupuncture can help to prime the cervix for labour and encourage dilation. It’s thought that regular sessions may help to shorten the length of labour. I offer this set of treatments during the late stages of pregnancy, starting from 35 weeks. These treatments will help the woman prepare for safe labour.
Acupuncture And Natural Induction
Once you’re full-term, acupuncture can be used to induce labor naturally. Studies have found that it can be an effective method, with fewer side effects than medical interventions such as synthetic hormones.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to help the body of pregnant women in the 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.
FAQs about acupuncture for fertility
1. When Should You Get Acupuncture For Fertility?
The best time to start acupuncture treatment is typically 3 months before beginning other fertility treatments, such as IVF or IUI. However, starting acupuncture alongside your doctor’s recommended fertility therapy can still be beneficial. If you have any questions about when to start acupuncture for fertility, please schedule a consultation.
2. How Many Sessions Of Acupuncture Do You Need For Fertility?
Typically, the patients come in 2-3 times per week for the first month, then reduce to once a week for the second month. After that, patients usually continue treatment every other week until they become pregnant or reach their goal. Overall, the number of sessions will depend on many factors including the patient’s age, health history, and duration of infertility.
3. How Does Acupuncture Treatments Increase Chances Of Conceiving?
There are many mechanisms by which acupuncture can increase the chances of conceiving. Acupuncture can help to regulate the menstrual cycle, improve blood circulation to the uterus and ovaries, balance hormone levels, and relieve pain. All of these effects may improve fertility.
4. Does Acupuncture For Fertility Hurt?
No, acupuncture should not hurt. The needles used in acupuncture are much thinner than those used in injections or blood draws, and most people report feeling no pain or only a minor sensation when the needles are inserted.
5. What Is The Difference Between Acupuncture Versus Sham Control?
Acupuncture is a popular treatment for fertility and pregnancy, with the use of needles for high maternal mortality outcomes. Sham acupuncture (SA), or placebo acupuncture (PA), is a control used in scientific studies to determine the efficacy of acupuncture. SA is performed away from the acupuncture points established by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or without stimulation and manipulation to avoid eliciting “De Qi” sensations. PA uses a non-penetrating technique.
Here are some great articles and videos that you may find useful: