In April 2019 I gained a post-graduate diploma in Acupuncture for Gynaecology and Obstretics. I want to use the knowledge and skills I have obtained to help more people with their fertility.
Natural and Assisted Fertility Treatment
Acupuncture has been shown to assist with fertility by
- Nourishing increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs
- Regulating hormones
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
- Improving the quality of the endometrial lining which lines the womb, thus increasing the chances of embryo implantation.
- Calming anxiety and stress
Many people come to acupuncture when they have been trying to conceive for some time without success. Some couples will still want to try to conceive naturally, others will have moved on to IVF and will want acupuncture to support them through this process.
Recent studies have shown that 40% of infertility is due to female infertility, 40% is due to male infertility and 20% is unknown. Acupuncture may help with any of these scenarios. Its aim is to fine tune the body to maximise fertility and re-balance health. As it is starting to be recognised that the male infertility is more of a contributing factor than was previously realised, I work with individuals and with couples to help maximise your chances of conceiving.
If you are a woman seeking help to conceive I would recommend weekly treatments for 3 months to chart the progress of your cycles. If you are going through IVF having acupuncture before embarking on this can help get your body to its optimum state to conceive. However sometimes women come to me once they have started this process and acupuncture can still play a part in helping them through each stage of the process.
Recent research has shown evidence that acupuncture can help with infertility. See the British Acupuncture Council’s information regarding acupuncture for female fertility.
Acupuncture for Male Infertility
Acupuncture for male infertility can help with sperm count, morphology and motility. For more information please read my blog.
Acupuncture During IVF
IVF can be a very difficult experience and throughout the cycle acupuncture aims to help calm anxiety and worry.
- Pre-IVF Acupuncture
Having acupuncture prior to IVF to regulate your menstrual cycle, support ovulation and generally boost your system may increase the success rate of IVF.
- Acupuncture During Down Regulation or Before the Period in Short Protocol.
Medication given during the down-reg phase aims to stop stimulation of the ovaries, basically putting your cycle on hold. Acupuncture can help eliminate the womb lining from your previous period and flush out old blood. The effects of the medication can lead to headaches, hot flushes and mood swings. Acupuncture can help with all of these.
The medication is aiming to encourage the production of more eggs than on a normal cycle. Acupuncture at this stage aims to prevent stagnation of Blood and fluids at this time, helping to optimise the quality of the womb lining.
- Egg Collection
The aim of acupuncture prior to egg collection is to remove any stagnation, nourish Blood and strengthen Spleen and Kidney energy. If the man is receiving acupuncture he will also be treated to strengthen his Spleen and Kidney energy.
- Embryo Transfer
The aim prior to the transfer is to increase blood flow to the womb lining. The aim after transfer is to close the uterus and nourish Blood and Qi. Research shows that these treatments should be done as soon as possible before and after egg transfer.
- Acupuncture After IVF
The aim of acupuncture after treatment is to promote the Qi’s function of holding and raising but also to help deal with the stress and anxiety of waiting.
Enormous strides have been made in Western Medicine to help couples conceive. A report in the British Medical Journal has shown that acupuncture can improve the success rates for assisted reproduction by up to 65%. Again it can help reduce stress but also helps manage the side effects of the medication; it is also thought that acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.
Whether you are thinking about trying for a baby, have been trying for a period of time without success or are consider IVF; acupuncture can help regulate your periods, improve the lining of the uterus and help to get your body ready for conception. Call me to discuss your situation and how fertility treatments using acupuncture might help you.