Acupuncture is a therapy that originates from Eastern medicine and it is based on the theory that energy flow, “qi” (chee), through the human body occurs along designated pathways and that it helps to restore one’s health.
Acupuncture involves the placement of fine needles through the skin and into the deeper tissues along specific points on the body called meridians. What this does is stimulate the release of endorphins which then help to give the individual a sense of euphoria and causes relaxation and restoration of the body’s energy.
Infertility that may be caused by issues such as an under- or overactive thyroid gland, those causing repeated miscarriages, fallopian tube spasms, and even stress can be managed through the use of acupuncture.
There are numerous studies that have been performed testing the validity of this treatment technique, and the suggestion is that it can be an effective therapy for helping couples struggling to conceive and those who are attempting in vitro fertilization as a fertility option.
In one study using around 160 participants undergoing in vitro fertilization, it was shown that 42 percent of these women became pregnant after having acupuncture performed on them. This was compared to the control group who didn’t receive acupuncture where 26 percent were able to conceive.
The researchers theorized that acupuncture actually helped to improve blood flow to the uterus and helped to relax the muscle of the reproductive tract allowing the egg to implant on the inner lining of the uterus.
Other benefits of acupuncture that were suggested by these researchers include improved ovulation in women struggling with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and reducing levels of stress and anxiety.
Numerous studies have looked at how increased stress levels can cause many physical and psychological problems in general. Some stress is still okay for people to manage, but exposure to severe stressors may result in anxiety which can cause fluctuations in the hormone levels in the body leading to problems with fertility. Not only can these stress levels cause problems for becoming pregnant, but may also be problematic for the mother and child during a pregnancy.
Acupuncture for Male Fertility
Since we know that acupuncture can help improve the blood flow in the body, it stands to reason that this therapy can improve the transport of oxygen and essential nutrients to the tissues and organs of the male genital tract. This may result in improved sperm production in men who have an issue with infertility. Not only is the amount of sperm produced by the testes improved, but their form and function also improves which increases the chance of successful fertilization.
When to see someone specializing in acupuncture?
Usually, a full year of attempting to conceive through natural means has to be attempted by a couple trying to fall pregnant before they can start consulting with fertility specialists.
Acupuncture in women trying to fall pregnant can be attempted before trying to conceive, especially if there are concerns about her fertility status. Fertility clinics such as Pacific Reproductive Center recommend starting with acupuncture sessions around three months before procedures such as in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination are performed.