In 2002, a team of German researchers discovered that acupuncture significantly increased the odds of pregnancy among a group of 160 women who were undergoing IVF treatment. Forty-two percent of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant, compared to 26 percent of those who didn’t receive the treatment. Acupuncture helps increase blood flow to the uterus and relax the muscle tissue, giving the embryos a better chance of implanting.
Another way how acupuncture helps is stress reduction. Since stress is known to greatly interfere with the ability to get pregnant managing your stress levels through acupuncture improves your odds of conceiving.
Acupuncture helps boost male fertility. A few studies have shown that regular treatments significantly improve sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim) and improve the quality and health of sperm. In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, researchers analyzed sperm samples from men with infertility of unknown cause before and after acupuncture treatments. They found that acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm.
Our clinical experience tells us that the result of a well executed conception plan starts by:
Regulate the menses – this enables a couple to better predict ovulation
Increase the blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the endometrial lining – this allows for a more hospitable environment for the egg
Improve the sperm count and motility
Help alleviate stress – A study done at the University of California in San Diego showed that high levels of chronic stress can impair a woman’s fertility by as much as 93%
Acupuncture can increase your chances of conception if your infertility is due to any of the following:
Elevated FSH levels
Irregular Menstrual Cycles
LPD – Luteal Phase Defect
PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
POF – Premature Ovarian Failure
PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Low Sperm Count, Poor Sperm Motility
Poor Egg Quality
Thin Unresponsive Endometrium
Cervical and Uterine Factors
Fallopian Tube Factors – such as blockages
If you are going through ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology such as IUI, IVF, donor egg, etc), acupuncture can also help:
Regulate the hormones (eg: elevated FSH level).
Increase the ovarian response and ovarian function to increase the number of follicles and quality of eggs produced.
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.
Relieve morning sickness.
Alleviate back pain.
Provide anesthesia during delivery.
Help with post-partum pain and depression.
Once a woman is pregnant, acupuncture can help:
As for the role of both of the parents involved a few gradual lifestyle changes can help tilt the scale in favor of a successful pregnancy. Consider avoiding cold drinks and raw food; warming foods can activate and move stagnation in our bodies helping fertility. Start a regular gentle exercise routine. 30 minutes a day of walking is perfect. Not only can it provide natural stress relief but also much needed bonding time. Combine acupuncture treatments with herbal formulas and a well balanced diet rich in lean organic proteins, vegetables and whole grains.
There are many subtle reasons which may cause infertility and acupuncture is able to treat both the mind and body at subconscious levels to improve fertility.