Acupuncture for Fertility

In case you are familiar with alternate treatments and therapies, you have probably heard about acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine methodology, wherein thin, solid needles are used and inserted into certain acupuncture points on the skin.

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According to traditional Chinese medics the stimulation of these specific points corrects any imbalance in the flow of Qi, which helps cure a wide variety of ailments. Alternative healers may also advise you to try acupuncture for fertility problems.

How does acupuncture help fertility?

Combined with other forms of therapy, acupuncture can help treat some of the causes of infertility, which may include –

  • Spasmed tubes
  • High levels of follicle stimulating hormone
  • Hyperprolactinemia (if it is not a result of prolactinoma)
  • Luteal phase defect
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

The exact technique of how this form of therapy works is still not clear, but evidence suggests that acupuncture –

  • Increases the production of endorphins
  • Reduces stress and helps you feel more relaxed and good about yourself
  • Improves the supply of blood to the ovaries
  • Enhances the overall ovarian, follicular and uterine function

However acupuncture cannot address all the causes of infertility; in case you are suffering from problems such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases or tubal adhesions.

When to begin acupuncture for fertility?

You can begin acupuncture treatment for fertility at any time, to increase your chances of having a baby. In case you are planning to go in for in vitro fertilization, it is best to begin acupuncture treatment at least around four months before insemination.

According to a study conducted by Stener-Victorin et al belonging to the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Fertility Center, Scandinavia, women should undergo acupuncture treatments before and also after an embryo transfer. Certain clinical observations conducted by the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness state that fertility treatment is more effective if acupuncture is combined with herbal therapy and traditional medication.

Even after you get pregnant, your doctor may advise you to go through acupuncture for the first twelve weeks, to reduce the risks of miscarriage.

What are the acupuncture points for fertility?

Acupuncture is the science of stimulating certain points on the body, using fine needles. To find a specific acupuncture point the acupuncturist needs to look for certain anatomical locations on the body. In general, there are many different acupuncture points on the body that can be stimulated, to enhance fertility.

Some of these include –

  • Spleen 6: This point is situated on the inside of the lower leg, just 3 inches above the prominence of the ankle. The Spleen 6 is said to calm your spirit and regulate menstruation.
  • Ren 6: This point is situated on the mid line of your body, 3 inches beneath your navel.
  • Stomach 29: This point is situated 2 inches beside and 4 inches beneath the navel. Before the IVF transfer, stimulation of this point can facilitate pregnancy.
  • Zigong: This point is situated on the lower abdomen. It can be found on either side of the body, above your pubic bone.
  • Kidney 3: This point is situated on the inside of your lower leg, halfway between your Achilles tendon and the inner bone ankle

Alternative healers also usually prescribe acupuncture for male infertility. According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility in the year 2005, regular acupuncture treatments can help improve sperm count and motility in men. However, additional research and studies are required to confirm if acupuncture can actually improve fertility in men or even women.

If acupuncture is performed by a well-qualified and experienced acupuncturist, it is quite safe and can have a positive effect on your overall health. This may eventually improve your chances of conceiving. However, make sure that the acupuncturist you go to is certified and uses the right techniques. It is also important for you to consult your health care provider before you decide to go in for acupuncture or any other form of alternate treatment.

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Acupuncture for Fertility
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