Acupuncture for Fertility
What is Acupuncture for Fertility?
Acupuncture is a form of physical medicine that originated in China over
4000 years ago. It uses very thin, sterile needles, inserted into specific points
on the body, to manipulate and balance the flow of energy through the
body. When we are in balance, our bodies function optimally: our organs
function well, our sleep is restful, we are resistant to disease, we recover
easily from injury, and our reproductive capacity is functional. For a
variety of reasons this balance can become disturbed. Imbalance gives
rise to symptoms, including infertility. Acupuncture aims to correct any
imbalance, eliminating any and all symptoms that the imbalance caused.
Acupuncture for fertility can boost your fertility and increase your chances
of success when you are trying to conceive.
How Can Acupuncture Help With Fertility?
Acupuncture can help with all stages in the fertility journey from conception
to delivery. Some benefits of acupuncture include:
- Regulate the menses and increase the blood flow to the uterus
- Improve sperm count
- Relieve stress
- Regulate the hormones and increase ovarian response function
- Reduce the side effects of hormone treatments
- Increase and strengthen the immune system
- Improve the success rate of IVF
- Decrease the chances of miscarriage and increase the rate of live birth
Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and PCOS
Acupuncture is extremely effective in regulating hormone levels in the
body, and this is quite helpful when treating a patient who has been diagnosed
with PCOS and is trying to conceive. By balancing the body’s hormone
levels, acupuncture has been shown to make periods more regular and help
patients ovulate*. If weight is an issue, acupuncture can also support
the PCOS patient by helping with weight loss. It does this through its
ability to balance hormones, curb appetite, and reduce stress. Using Chinese
herbs is also an effective adjunct to the acupuncture treatments for PCOS.
If a woman is not undergoing assisted reproduction, or is taking “time
off” from medicated cycles, there are specific Chinese herbs from
the ‘resolve phlegm’ category of herbs in TCM that can reduce
masses in the low abdomen, e.g. ovarian cysts. At Pulling Down the Moon®,
your practitioner may give you a formula specifically tailored to your
TCM diagnosis, which will typically include herbs from the phlegm resolving
category. We do not advocate taking herbs during medicated fertility cycles.
The frequency and duration of your acupuncture/herbal therapy at Pulling
Down the Moon® is determined at the initial treatment and based on
a number of factors. The severity of the PCOS, the patient’s constitutional
level, and whether or not a patient is undergoing a medicated fertility
treatment cycle are taken into consideration upon your treatment plan.
*Source: Stener-Victorin E et al, Effects of electro-acupuncture on anovulation
in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000