Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. The course is based on the idea that the body has energy pathways called meridians that can be manipulated to improve health and well-being. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, including infertility.
How Can Acupuncture Help with Fertility?
Acupuncture is believed to work by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. When needles are inserted into specific points in the body, they stimulate the nervous system and trigger the release of hormones and neurotransmitters. These substances can help regulate the body’s functions and improve overall health.
Acupuncture may help with fertility in a variety of ways, including:
- Regulating Hormones: Acupuncture has been shown to help control the secretion of hormones important for fertility, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
- Improving Blood Flow: Acupuncture has been shown to improve blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, improving the chances of a successful pregnancy.
- Improving Egg Quality: Acupuncture may enhance the quality of eggs produced by the ovaries, increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy.
- Reducing Stress: Stress can interfere with fertility by disrupting hormonal balance and reducing blood flow to the reproductive organs. Acupuncture has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, which can improve fertility outcomes.
What Does the Evidence Say?
Several studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture for fertility. While the results are mixed, some evidence suggests that acupuncture may be beneficial for improving fertility outcomes.
For example, a 2018 systematic review of 13 studies found that acupuncture may improve pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. Another study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture may increase the success rate of embryo transfers.
While these studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand acupuncture’s effects on fertility.
Acupuncture for Fertility Where Do the Needles Go?
The specific acupuncture points used for fertility treatment may vary depending on the individual’s needs. However, some common topics include:
- Spleen 6: Located on the inside of the lower leg, this point is believed to help regulate menstruation and improve blood flow to the reproductive organs.
- Stomach 36: Located on the front of the lower leg, this point is supposed to help improve overall energy and boost fertility.
- Governing Vessel 20: Located on the top of the head, this point is believed to help regulate the pituitary gland, which plays a crucial role in fertility.
How Should You Take Acupuncture for Fertility?
If you’re interested in using acupuncture to improve your fertility, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Find a licensed and experienced acupuncturist who specializes in fertility treatment.
- Acupuncture is typically used with other fertility treatments, such as IVF. Talk to your doctor about whether acupuncture is right for you.
- Acupuncture may be used throughout your fertility journey, including before and after IVF treatments.
Number and frequency of acupuncture sessions for fertility
Some patients require a different regimen of acupuncture treatments at different intervals. For example, treatment with acupuncture for infertility should begin at least three months before conception and often involves one to three sessions per week. A person’s medical history and needs will determine the optimal amount and frequency of acupuncture treatments. See a qualified acupuncturist specializing in fertility treatment to learn the optimal treatment timeline, including the suggested frequency and number of sessions.
Couples experiencing infertility may benefit from acupuncture as a complementary treatment. While it cannot treat people with total infertility, it can help boost reproductive function by enhancing the body’s natural physiological processes. For example, acupuncture is beneficial for regulating menstrual cycles, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, decreasing stress and anxiety, and increasing the likelihood of successful embryo implantation.
Patients may need to endure many acupuncture sessions spread out over a few months to see the full benefits of the treatment. But overall, acupuncture is a safe and effective non-pharmacological technique to boost fertility and IVF success rates. In addition, it provides good support for people undergoing assisted reproductive procedures like IVF.