Acupuncture for Increasing Fertility
Around 10-12% of women in the United States have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. One in eight couples are struggling with fertility. Unfortunately, as these statistics show, getting pregnant is sometimes a lot more difficult than one would think. However, evidence shows that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be very effective for increasing fertility, leading to increases in numbers of both natural and assisted-fertility conceptions.
It is recommended that patients start acupuncture treatments when they decide they want to have a baby. By assessing the overall health of both partners at the initial “planning” stage and receiving treatment, based on that initial assessment, the likelihood that a woman may conceive naturally drastically increases as does her chances of carrying to term.
Even if a woman has been told that she will need to undergo assisted fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination, the chances of conceiving with acupuncture is much higher than without it. For both natural and assisted conceptions, acupuncture helps to increase fertility by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, like the ovaries and the uterus, reducing stress and balancing the endocrine system. With a relaxed uterus and efficient blood flow, the chances that an egg will be fertilized greatly increases. The uterus is more receptive to successful fertilization through the relaxing of the uterine wall and muscles and the increased blood flow.
Acupuncture works because the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body help to trigger an internal, biophysiological cascade of events inside your body, in which various chemicals, neurotransmitter and hormones are released as the body moves from the sympathetic (fight or flight) into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). It is in this relaxed that the above conditions, i.e. relaxed uterus, increased blood flow, and opening of fallopian tubes, can occur.
The goal of acupuncture during conception is not only to help increase the chances of egg fertilization, but to help increase the chances of a healthy baby as well as to support the woman’s health during the pregnancy. Therefore, acupuncture treatments should be continued once there is a confirmed pregnancy. Again, this is where stress reduction, increased blood circulation and hormone and endocrine balancing come into play for both conception and healthy development. If you or someone you know is having trouble conceiving, please reach out to a licensed acupuncturist to learn more.