Although acupuncture for fertility may not seem like a practical choice when it comes to improving your chances to have a baby, it has some very real benefits. An area of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into precise points of the body. These points correspond to various organs that’s energy runs along meridians (channels). In line with TCM principles, stimulating points can help restore healthy balance to the body. Three of the top issues that acupuncture for fertility treats include stress, hormonal imbalances and blood flow.
Acupuncture for Fertility and Stress
The worst kind of stress is the type that you don’t have control over and the inability to get pregnant falls under this category. Reproducing is a powerful biological urge and not being able to can have a profound effect on a person. If the stress is ongoing, the body produces hormones and chemicals like adrenaline, inflammatory cytokines and cortisol. It’s a vicious cycle that will have a harmful effect on fertility.
During IVF cycles, stress can lower embryo implantation rates and can affect the quality of semen. Acupuncturists use specific acupuncture treatments at precise times during the IVF cycle. Acupuncture is known for its ability to relax patients, which has been exhibited in IVF settings. The practice raises endorphin levels and reduces cortisol and adrenaline, allowing the mind and body to relax and destress.
Hormonesaffect a vast array of bodily functions, including the metabolism, reproduction as well as sleep-wake cycles. Hormones are released by glands in the brain and body, including the adrenal and pituitary glands. Blood carries hormones to cells to perform their tasks. While an emphasis is typically placed on the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, adrenal and thyroid hormones are just as essential for optimal health.
Acupuncture can have a positive influence on hormones that affect fertility and there’s compelling evidence that it can increase hormone levels in that brain that boost fertility. Acupuncture also has a normalizing impact on reproductive hormones. In addition, the practice can minimize the effects stress can have on the body and reduce stress related hormones that can have a negative effect on fertility.
Acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus, boosting fertility. According to TCM, acupuncture does more than restore Qi, the body’s energy. The practice can enhance fertility by increasing blood flow to the uterus, creating a healthier, stronger, uterine lining for the embryo to develop on. Specialists have used thermal imaging and Doppler ultrasounds to show how acupuncture affects blood flow. Numerous studies have also shown that acupuncture can increase the success rates of women in the process of IVF. As a matter of fact, one study observed a considerable boost in the success of IVF when women had acupuncture during embryo transfers.
Even though Acupuncture isn’t a practice that has been conclusively accepted, there are growing numbers of fertility specialists that find that the treatment adds value. Talk to your fertility doctor about acupuncture. Chances are they’ll even have a qualified Fairfield County acupuncturist to refer you to.