Fertility is a woman’s natural state. Subfertility results from imbalances within the network of organs, hormones, and energy systems within a woman’s body. Chinese medicine holds that a woman’s body must be gently nourished and encouraged to bear fruit. It works to rebalance the delicate interplay of energies that occur each month, causing a woman to produce a healthy egg capable of fertilization and to prepare her uterine lining to receive that egg.
Fertility acupuncture always involves dietary recommendations, supplement suggestions and lifestyle advice, which I can provide.
How does acupuncture work to increase fertility?
It’s well-documented that acupuncture has a positive effect on fertility and pregnancy outcomes. Studies have shown that acupuncture:
- improves the function of ovaries, producing higher quality eggs.
- balances hormone levels and regulates the endocrine system.
- increases the blood flow to reproductive organs including the uterus, which can increase the thickness of the uterine lining to help with implantation, reducing miscarriage.
- relaxes the muscles in the uterine wall to help ensure implantation.
- relaxes and de-stresses the whole body.
- prevents contractions early in pregnancy which helps to prevent early miscarriage.
- increases blood flow in male patients to increase sperm production and the quality of spermatic fluid.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
ART includes treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), cryopreservation, and intrauterine insemination (IUI). Many fertility clinics offer acupuncture as an adjunct to their ART services.
It is recommended that women begin acupuncture at least three months before their ART procedure, the length of time it takes an oocyte to mature into an egg. This enables women to benefit from physiological changes like increased blood flow to the uterus, healthy cervical mucus, increased thickness of the uterine lining, balanced hormones, improved ovarian function, enhanced immunity, reduced stress or anxiety and improved sleep.
Acupuncture before and after IUI / IVF transfer reduces the chance of miscarriage by calming uterine spasms, relieving stress and promoting successful implantation. Acupuncture will also lessen the side effects of medications.