The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility

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Before talking about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility, let us first discuss the practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine Practice. It involves the use of needles that are very thin to insert into strategic points of the body through the skin. The insertion of these needles into the skin is to… Read More

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility

Before talking about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility, let us first discuss the practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine Practice. It involves the use of needles that are very thin to insert into strategic points of the body through the skin. The insertion of these needles into the skin is to help with the stimulation of these strategic points. In acupuncture, the skin is activated via electrical stimulation or through movements that are specific and of the practitioner. 

Acupuncture, as explained by traditional Chinese medicine, is seen as a technique used to cause a balance to the energy flow or life force, also known as qi or chi. This flow of energy in the body is believed to pass through pathways or meridians. The practitioners of acupuncture believe that there is a re-balancing of the energy when needles are inserted into specific points along the pathways.

Acupuncture for Fertility
Picture courtesy: American Pregnancy Association

The practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine believe that in the body, there are over two thousand points of acupuncture that are linked together via pathways or meridian. The energy flow coursing through the body is created by the meridian and is responsible for the health of an individual. The disease will happen when this energy flow is disrupted. Hence, to improve the health of an individual, acupuncture is applied to strategic points and is believed to improve this energy flow. 

During some Acupuncture, the aim is to use needles to cause the rebalancing of the Qi by using the needles to touch the points of acupuncture. The needles will cause the body to be stimulated such that there is a rebalancing of the body, a reaction to a symptom, and the release of some chemicals that control the impulses of the nerve such as natural chemicals; for example, endorphins, the neurotransmitters, and the body’s natural pain killers. Acupuncture can be used to treat various health conditions, according to various studies including the management of stress.

What is Infertility?

Infertility has been defined by medical practitioners as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex according to medical practitioners. It can also be said to be the ability to achieve conception by either the male or the female as a result of the reproductive system of either partner having a problem. It can be primary infertility, in which case the individual is unable to get pregnant at all. Also, it can be secondary infertility whereby the person is not able to get pregnant again though the person had been pregnant before. 

Among women of ages 15-44 years, about twelve percent of them are affected by infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How does acupuncture help fertility?

In trying to achieve conception, one would try everything to ensure that one achieves pregnancy. This includes stopping the use of birth control bills, tracking one’s menstrual cycle, preparing one’s body for conception, and even taking treatments for fertility. Infertility can be a real challenge for people, and most times, people would do anything to ensure they get pregnant, according to Jenna Rehmer who is a reproductive endocrinologist. People can begin to use methods like acupuncture, a thousand years old natural practices to achieve pregnancy.

How does acupuncture help fertility?

It is believed by some individuals that there is a need for acupuncture to be done in order to finally conceive. However, studies so far have not shown any conclusive results. The fact that there are different types of acupuncture including auricular acupuncture, trigger point acupuncture, moxibustion, and traditional Chinese acupuncture, each using different techniques for operation affects the studies’ results. In addition, acupuncture sometimes is not used alone. It can be used together with traditional medicine or standard medical treatment.

Some studies suggest that acupuncture can be used to improve the quality of sperm and ovarian function however, the evidence seen is not conclusive to show that one can achieve conception through the acupuncture technique. According to Megan Scott, a licensed acupuncturist, Patients when trying to conceive at all stages usually seek acupuncture including when they have stopped taking birth control, after several months of trying to conceive with no success achieved, and after the in vitro fertilization has failed and they are seeking support. 

What are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility?

What are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility?
Picture courtesy: Angea Acupuncture

Advocates of acupuncture believe that acupuncture can be used to treat infertility. It may help in the treatment of infertility when used in conjunction with traditional medicine. They believe that acupuncture can help resolve some of the following fertility-related issues including:

  • It helps to relieve stress, 
  • It helps to boost the flow of blood to reproductive organs like the uterus and ovaries
  • It helps in balancing the hormones
  • It helps increase the number of good eggs
  • It helps in minimizing anxiety and stress level
  • It helps to improve the sperm’s quality and quantity thereby helping to improve the fertility of a man.

Also, some believe that the side effects seen with the use of fertility drugs may be relieved with the use of acupuncture. Acupuncture in relieving stress is one essential benefit to undergo acupuncture while trying to get pregnant. It can be stressful while trying to achieve conception even the treatment plans for fertility come with its stress. Pregnancy outcomes can be affected negatively by chronic stress. The use of acupuncture can help in improving the outcome of the pregnancy by reducing the level of stress. Depression can be a problem for those trying to conceive, but the use of acupuncture has been seen to help in managing depression.

The risk involved in the use of acupuncture to treat fertility-related issues is minimal. However, if during pregnancy, incorrect points of acupunctures are used, the risk of miscarriages may increase. Therefore, it is crucial to choose an acupuncturist who is experienced and licensed to reduce the risk of any complications. Before commencing the acupuncture, one should disclose to the acupuncturist medical history in full, including those not related to infertility such as bleeding disorders. 

Whether an individual is trying to get pregnant either through In-vitro Fertilization or Intrauterine insemination (IUI), most acupuncturists will advise the patient to come in months before conceiving so that through a few menstrual cycles, your bodily response can be assessed. Usually, months before the commencement of, in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor egg transfer, or insemination, patients are treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture is a method of medical intervention that is process oriented and similar to physical therapy.