Acupuncture for Fertility
Acupuncture and IVF
The intent of acupuncture therapy is to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering. The method by which this is accomplished, though it may seem strange and mysterious to many, has been time tested over thousands of years and continues to be validated today.
The perspective from which an acupuncturist views health and sickness hinges on concepts of “vital energy,” “energetic balance” and “energetic imbalance.” Just as the Western medical doctor monitors the blood flowing through blood vessels and the messages traveling via the nervous system, the acupuncturist assesses the flow and distribution of this “vital energy” within its pathways, known as “meridians and channels.”
What can I expect from my acupuncture treatments?
Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than plucking out a hair. The sensations that follow range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All these sensations usually subside once the needles are removed. The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than the standard hypodermic needle, do not draw blood and are solid, not hollow. After treatment most patients would say, “relaxing.” Usually patients leave in less discomfort and are more functional than when they walked in.
Where do the needles get placed?
The exact location of acupuncture points will vary from patient to patient and from treatment to treatment. Some of the most well-known acupuncture points, traditionally used to influence the function of the female reproductive organs, are located on the lower back, lower abdomen, and legs. The points on the lumbar, sacrum, and low abdominal regions are particularly important in consideration of female anatomy and the related nerve segmental innervations. The points on head, neck, upper back and arms are used in order to stimulate the autonomic nervous system and further induce the relaxation response.
How does acupuncture help fertility?
People have been using acupuncture for fertility therapy for centuries.
Acupuncture has been shown to:
- Improve blood flow to the uterus, which helps the lining grow strong and healthy enough to support an embryo
- Reduce and prevent cramping, a common occurrence after an IVF transfer. Cramping is very disruptive to conception, as it can prevent the embryo from implanting in the uterine wall.
- Stimulate egg production, for women who can’t, or don’t want to, use fertility medication to help them get pregnant
- Regulate and stabilize hormone levels
- Reduce the chance of miscarriage
- Reduces stress and promotes deep relaxation, which are absolutely critical if you’re trying to get pregnant, especially if you’re undergoing any kind of traditional fertility treatment such as IVF
Acupuncture works best when combined with IVF treatments, acupuncture can significantly increase your chance of conception.