fertility acupuncture

FERTILITY

Acupuncture can be of great benefit for anyone wanting to start a family by ensuring you are in the best health possible to maximise your fertility.

For couples who have been trying to conceive for a while acupuncture can also provide the extra help needed to increase your chances of success.  It is especially beneficial to the 20-30% of cases of ‘unexplained’ infertility. This is because acupuncture treats the person rather than the disease, which makes it particularly good at dealing with fertility issues that don’t have a medical diagnosis.

Furthermore research has shown that acupuncture can regulate the menstrual cycle; lower raised levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), relieve symptoms of endometriosis; induce ovulation in women with polycystic ovaries (PCOS); improve the quality and motility of sperm and release endorphins that reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Treatment helps couples to make changes to their diet and lifestyle as well as helping to resolve underlying emotional or physical imbalances that can affect fertility. You can read more about women’s health issues here.

Male Fertility

Lifestyle factors such as stress and obesity and environmental factors such as pesticides and chemicals are all thought to play part in men’s rapidly declining fertility – up to a fifth of men now have low sperm count.

However there is a lot that can be done to improve its function and research has shown particular benefit on sperm quality and quantity. Acupuncture can benefit men’s:

  • Sperm count – morphology, motility, antibodies
  • Immune system issues
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction/impotence
  • Testicular health

Because it takes 60 – 90 days to develop mature sperm, for the best results treatment is ideally given over a 3 to 6 month period prior to conceiving.

Assisted reproduction

There are many studies that show that acupuncture administered at certain points during the assisted reproductive cycle (ICSI/IUI/IVF) can increase the chances of successfully conceiving and support couples emotionally and physically along the way.

A recent study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that acupuncture may increase the success rate of implantation and pregnancy during IVF by as much as 65%.

  1. During IUI – improving thickness of lining of uterus
  2. Downs Regulation – reducing side effects such as hot flushes, headaches and mood swings
  3. Up regulation & ovary stimulation – helping to thicken the lining of the uterus and preventing ovary hyper-stimulation
  4. Prior to egg collection – helping to soften the cervix and encouraging relaxation
  5. Day of transfer – increasing pregnancy rates from 26.3% to 42.5%
  6. Post-transfer – improving blood flow to the embryo and providing emotional support to the couple

For more information on research into acupuncture, ART and fertility please visit the BAcC

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