Men and women with fertility issues might find acupuncture to be just the answer they are looking for. For men, infertility may mean issues in sperm count, motility, and quality. Poor production of follicles by the ovaries is one of the many potential fertility issues plaguing women today. All these can be resolved by acupuncture treatment.
Clinical research works reveal that acupuncture therapies can augment the uterine wall’s thickness making it more conducive for embryo implantation in IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments. Acupuncture for infertility treatment is a viable way to prevent or minimize the number of miscarriages when a woman is undergoing cycles of IVF treatments.
For thousands of years, acupuncture has been practiced in China to prevent sickness and/or treat a wide range of medical conditions. It is done through the insertion of thin needles into the body with the purpose of stimulating healing. When activated by a needle, the acupoints strengthen (or even weaken) the flow of energy to certain organs.
Treating Infertility with Acupuncture
Fertility is promoted by acupuncture as the treatment helps in enhancing overall wellness. During an acupuncture fertility treatment procedure, blood circulation to organs of reproduction is increased. This helps improve ovarian function improves resulting in normal ovulation and a high likelihood of conception.
Acupuncture for male infertility stimulates the conception energy channel or meridian leading to strong sexual stamina and an increase in sperm quality and quantity in males in males.
Fertility Acupuncture – Its Benefits
-Improves the quantity, quality, and motility of the sperm
-Clears obstructed fallopian tubes
-Lowers the levels of FSH in the body
-Boosts the immune system
-Lowers stress levels
-Enhances the cervical mucus
-Thickens the lining of the endometrium
-Normalizes menstrual cycle
Acupuncture Fertility Treatment and Maternal Age
Research experiments reveal a strong correlation between a mother’s age and her ability to conceive. Nevertheless, the thing to remember is that some women in their 40’s have eggs that can be kept in excellent quality due to slow biological aging. This slow process of aging can be done with acupuncture treatments.
But even if chronological aging is irreversible, acupuncture can still slow down the aging process and enhance the quality of the eggs in a woman.
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle combined with regular acupuncture treatments are ideal ways to slow down aging and possess healthy eggs.
Hormones and Acupuncture Treatment for Infertility
Going for acupuncture treatments regularly can lead to a healthy hormonal balance. These treatments positively influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, the autonomic nervous system, and the hormonal regulation centers in the brain.
Regular treatments spanning a number of months can result in those aforementioned benefits. High levels of FSH can impair a woman’s ability to produce a number of quality eggs. Acupuncture can help lower FSH levels helping a woman produce eggs that are healthy.
The levels of FSH in the body are often in flux. Acupuncture can help stabilize and lower FSH levels when they are high. A Low FSH level is important for a woman who is getting IVF therapies.
Fertility Charting and Acupuncture
An ideal way to evaluate the progress of your acupuncture treatments is to keep a track record of your basal body temperature. This is how you are able to observe the way your hormone fluctuation pattern changes.
Over the course of your acupuncture treatments, you will start to see your ovulation improving. You will notice that you tend to ovulate closer and closer to day 14 and that your luteal phase is around 14-15 days in duration.
You will start to experience fewer cramps and clots and that your menses flowing much easier. These are all indications that the treatment is working and that your reproductive and hormonal health is improving.
Acupoints Selected for Acupuncture Fertility Treatments
Every acupuncturist is aware that each patient they tend to is unique. Therefore, each acupuncture treatment is different for every patient even if they suffer from the same condition.
The acupoints associated with the fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries, and other reproductive organs are selected in the treatment of female infertility. These points are usually located on the legs, arms, back, and lower stomach.
When is the Best Time to Get Acupuncture Fertility Treatment?
Throughout your menstrual cycle, acupuncture treatments can be given on a regular basis. If you receive treatment just around the time of ovulation, the treatment may not be as effective as you’d like them to.
The best time to get acupuncture treatment is throughout your menstrual cycle in order to derive the best benefits. It is entirely safe to get pregnant whilst receiving your treatments.
Women who have been receiving acupuncture while attempting to conceive naturally are less likely to experience lower back pain, edema (water retention), and morning sickness, are less likely to experience discomforts during their pregnancy, and have zero chance of having miscarriages.
That being said, your acupuncturist should be aware if you are pregnant or not because he/she might treat points on your legs and hands that can activate the uterus and cause premature contractions. So if you are pregnant, it is very important for your acupuncturist to know.
Telling your acupuncturist at what phase of your menstrual cycle you’re on is also important as it can help the practitioner modify treatments best suited for your needs at that specific moment of your cycle. When using acupuncture to improve ovulation, a specific protocol can be used to meet your current needs.
IVF and Acupuncture
One of the most common uses of acupuncture is in IVF procedures. When you are undergoing these therapies, the best time to get acupuncture is at least a couple of months prior to the start of the IVF procedure which is continued once or twice a week until the transfer date. IVF treatments coupled with acupuncture can help prevent miscarriages related to this procedure and give you a healthy pregnancy.
Your acupuncturist will need to evaluate your current state of health and recommend a plan of treatment that addresses your needs. In several instances, you may have to undergo the following phases:
1. Preparing yourself for IVF cycle
2. Ovarian support and activation
3. Embryo transfer
4. Post transfer
Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.