With the success rates of acupuncture in treating infertility so high it's a wonder why every women who is struggling wouldn't consider it. Acupuncture studies have proven acupuncture to increase IVF efficacy rates to 50% and for those who have tried everything, acupuncture has fulfilled the dreams of many once childless couples. Acupuncture has been used for fertility issues for thousands of years. The Emperor would employ acupuncturist to come to the palaces and ensure the wife and concubines produced healthy heirs. In the 21st Century we are seeing both an increase in fertility issues and women choosing to conceive later in life. Many couples who struggle to get pregnant eventually seek out professional help and are advised to employ fertility drugs or other Assisted Reproductive Technologies namely IVF and IUI. The question is what is acupuncture's role in helping a woman conceive?
When we learn the intricacies of the female reproductive system and understand the gentle cascade of rhythmic hormonal flows that must occur in perfect orchestration, we realize conception truly is a wonder. In this beautiful primal process it doesn't take something serious to throw it off. It can be that the hormones in the meat you are eating are altering your estrogen and testosterone levels. That in turn can begin to alter the levels and cycles of other hormones necessary for normal follicular, ovulatory and luteal cycles. Or it can be that the stress you are dealing with at work is altering pH levels of your cervical mucus and making it hostile to sperm. Or it can be that you are dealing with unknown food sensitivities that are creating a compromised immune system making it difficult for your body to support a pregnancy. There are a myriad of other possibilities. Acupuncturist who treat reproductive issues are trained to detect underlying issues in both the Western and Eastern Medical perspective.
Acupuncture understands how to detect even subtle imbalances. More importantly it knows how to address those imbalances so that the body is restored to homeostasis and conception and pregnancy can occur. In an example, by observing a woman with a pale complexion, puffiness of the face and complaints of tiredness and poor digestive health an acupuncturist may assess that the spleen qi is deficient which affects proper blood production and quality. This in turn can affect the quality and thickness of the endometrial lining which is needed for successful embryo implantation. An acupuncturist can detect how a yin imbalance in the body is not allowing for sufficient fertile cervical fluid which is needed for the proper transport of sperm to egg. Having an understanding and way to address subtle and not so subtle imbalances can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of natural conception or that which is aided by IVF.
Couples who are regularly treated with acupuncture find that their health often greatly improves. Because Acupuncture is a system of medicine that works to bring balance to the entire system there is an overall improvement on the physical, mental and emotional level. The stress that accompanies fertility issues can be quite taxing on couples. This anxiety and worry gets addressed and benefits greatly from acupuncture with its calming effect on the nervous system. With IVF treatments the health and thickness of the endometrial lining can be addressed and treated with acupuncture which in turn significantly increases (50%) the chance of proper implantation of the embryo. Acupuncture increases blood to the ovaries which improves their functioning and nourishes developing follicles. Acupuncture helps with implantation by reducing uterine spasming. Acupuncture prepares the body for conception and supports the body during pregnancy by treating morning sickness, excess edema and works to prevent possible miscarriage; and is used to aid in a healthy delivery and is a wonderful postpartum support.
In conclusion, acupuncture and an Acupuncturist's role in reproductive health is a vital one. An acupuncturist who treats fertility issues will teach you when your most fertile time is and give you diet and lifestyle advice. The acupuncture will be increasing blood flow to the ovaries, thickening the endometrial lining, addressing hormonal imbalances, healing PMS and giving the body a better foundation in which to have a healthy and thriving pregnancy.