let’s talk about male fertility

Katy Bradshaw Acupuncture - male infertilityLike many of you I was deeply moved by the BBC programme on male fertility ‘Me, my brother and our balls’. This was a heartfelt and informative documentary following the challenges faced by two brothers with fertility issues resulting from testicular cancer and varicoceles.

The message was clear – male fertility issues affects millions of men but because of the stigma associated with opening up about these issues, many men are only finding out about these life-changing problems when you decide to have children. And even when you do, you often feel isolated and struggling to work out what options are available to you.

Whilst I was incredibly impressed with the BBC show I was disappointed to see that the only option presented to the younger brother was a course of the testosterone boosting Chlomofene to prepare him for an invasive sperm extraction procedure.

I’m not saying he didn’t need to take that approach Read More


women's health

Chinese Medicine is particularly interested in women’s health. The classic texts that date back over thousands of years dedicate a great deal of time to the study, diagnosis and treatment of women’s health.  As a result of this long history acupuncture is hugely beneficial in treating gynaecological issues. In particular acupuncture can benefit:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Short/long cycles
  • Painful, heavy periods
  • Lack of periods
  • Spotting, bleeding outside period time
  • Ovulation pain
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Fibroids, cysts, polyps
  • Endometriosis
  • Hormonal imbalances eg: PMS, migraine, skin eruptions, emotional issues


Acupuncture is of great benefit in the treatment of fertility. It can support couples to conceive naturally and during the assisted reproduction process. It is a physical and emotional support during what can be an extremely challenging time. Read about how acupuncture can benefit fertility for both men and women here.


The menopause often brings disruption and misery to a woman’s life.  It can involve one or more of a range of symptoms, which women experience to varying degrees and levels of distress. These can include night sweats and hot flushes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, aches and pains, palpitations and genital and urinary problems.

Acupuncture supports the body to alleviate these symptoms in a natural and long-lasting way, without the need for Hormone Replacement Therapy.  For women who want to continue with HRT it is still beneficial to receive acupuncture as it will treat the hormonal imbalance that the medication is masking.

You can read more about acupuncture and the menopause in the blog post ‘Acupuncture – an effective alternative to HRT?’

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fertility acupuncture

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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Top tips for preparing for your first acupuncture session

If you’re thinking about booking in for an acupuncture treatment there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of the experience.


Trying something new for the first time can be daunting and you may have questions that you feel awkward about asking.  Firstly – don’t worry about asking ‘silly’ questions! I for one welcome anyone’s questions about acupuncture as it gives me a chance to talk about my favourite subject.  It’s easy as a practitioner to forget how much we know compared to our patient and we sometimes gloss over things that you need to know more about.  So before you book in, have a think about what questions you have and ask them on the phone or during your initial consultation.


Your first question should be whether your practitioner is a member of a regulatory body.  The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) regulates the majority of acupuncturists in the UK and ensure that we are suitably trained, qualified, insured and that we keep our continuing professional development up to date. Acupuncturists should carry the logo on their website and you can check directly with the BAcC for registered practitioners in your area. If you are visiting someone who isn’t BAcC registered you should make sure that they are regulated by an organisation that is listed on the Public Standards Authority (PSA) register.


Once you’ve booked in it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about where you are now and where you want to be following treatment…. Read More

Transform your health

Brighton Acupuncture

Welcome to Katy Bradshaw Acupuncture. You are in the right place if you are:

  • Fed up with feeling tired, unhappy or in pain
  • Longing to be parents but need help to conceive
  • Unable to manage your health due to a busy and stressful life
  • Suffering with ill-health but have been unable to find the cause or a solution
  • Think that there may be an emotional cause to your illness
  • Want a natural approach to managing your health
  • Would like a treatment that is supported by a strong evidence-base
  • Expect to feel listened to, supported and understood

Processed with VSCO with fn16 presetMy name is Katy Bradshaw and I am the acupuncturist behind  hundreds of transformational health stories from people who have experienced issues just like these.

When we’re not well we can feel like we’ve been let down by our bodies. Looking for support but with nowhere to turn, we are often left feeling confused, overwhelmed and frustrated. At times like these I wonder, if our bodies could speak to us, what do you think they would say? Because when things go wrong our bodies are trying to tell us something.

Stop. Slow down. Make a change. Move on. Take care. Change direction. Let go. Get help…

If we listen carefully, we have an innate body wisdom that will guide us in what we need to do to heal. It takes patience, compassion and a different way of thinking that makes important connections between all our symptoms, as well as our emotions and our life experiences.

I’m here to help you do this.

I create a safe space for you to pause, listen and reflect so that you can tune in to what your body is telling you. We will have the unique conversations that you won’t be having anywhere else, where you will gain new insights into what’s really going on and ultimately get to where you want to be – feeling good, functioning well and in control of your well-being.

More about Katy…


What people are saying:


I went to Katy for help with severe symptoms of peri-menopause. She really listened to everything that's going on. The best thing has been that after each session my sleep is much better, and anxiety is reduced, but it's also helped with my joint pain and made me feel generally more able to cope with everything that's going on. I do this in conjunction with HRT - definitely not mutually exclusive. I find Katy very professional and supportive and highly recommend her.

"It a pleasure to write a review for Katy as she is a very caring person. Katy has given me so much help both pre & post surgery which was a massive support physically & mentally and I am pleased to recommend her." CB

"Katy offers a wonderful acupuncture service. I felt very well supported and reassured during my pregnancy and received regular treatments throughout. It particularly helped with numerous symptoms I was experiencing e.g. nausea, indigestion, and UTI symptoms. I Would highly recommend her to anyone." PT

"I started having acupuncture sessions with Katy to try to manage my endometriosis symptoms & to help with fertility. When I first started seeing Katy my cycle was on average 43 days long and I had been trying for a baby for around 9 months. A few months of weekly acupuncture treatments brought my cycle to a healthy 28 days & was helping to manage my endo pain so I was not needing to take as many pain killers. To my amazement I fell pregnant after around 6 months of treatment & now have a baby boy. I truly believe this may not have happened without acupuncture and I am so grateful to Katy for this. I still see Katy now to help to manage endometriosis & would recommend anyone with endo and anyone struggling to conceive to see her. She is amazing at what she does & so lovely!" AL

"I went to Katy for help with severe symptoms of peri-menopause. She really listened to everything that's going on. The best thing has been that after each session my sleep is much better, and anxiety is reduced, but it's also helped with my joint pain and made me feel generally more able to cope with everything that's going on. I do this in conjunction with HRT - definitely not mutually exclusive. I find Katy very professional and supportive and highly recommend her." JW

“Throughout our three courses of IVF Katy was an incredible support. She tailored our treatment according to our needs and we reaped the benefits; emotionally and physically. We are pleased to say we are now expecting our first baby and we can’t thank Katy enough for all the support she’s given us both. Fertility treatment is a roller coaster but Katy’s been with us every step of the way. She’s wonderfully caring, calming and reassuring and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to others” CF & JF

“Katy was vital in keeping my morning sickness at bay when I was pregnant. I loved the fact that the treatments incorporated plenty of time to talk about how I was feeling, both physically and emotionally, as this allowed Katy to tailor what she was doing to meet those specific needs. I always left a treatment feeling much more relaxed and the use of acupuncture seemed to have a tangible impact on my nausea” SL

“I have crippling pain from severe arthritis in my hip which makes life with two small children difficult and distressing. Katy brought me so much pain relief and released my limbs so much the first time she ‘pinned me’ that I burst out crying. She keeps me moving and smiling. She is magic. And lovely” JH

“Katy’s extensive experience is clear as soon as you meet her. However, it is Katy’s compassion and intuition that make her such an exceptional practitioner. Katy put me at ease from the very first session, taking time to listen and explain why symptoms or emotions are happening. Her clinic room is quiet, cosy and super clean. I really look forward to my sessions as I know that I will leave feeling peaceful and balanced. Thank you Katy for being so fantastic and for having such a positive impact on my health and wellbeing” RK

British Acupuncture Council - bacc acupuncture

Find out more about acupuncture…