There has been a dramatic growth in demand for acupuncture for the treatment of fertility. More media coverage has made its effectiveness in these issues become better known. It is very rewarding to treat these issues successfully because it brings so much joy. How do we know, before there is a pregnancy if the treatment is working? it is not like back pain or migraine when the symptoms can clearly be seen to have improved. When treating fertility we look for overall signs of health improving. Improvements in sleep quality, menstrual cycles being regulated and less painful, increased energy, feeling generally more relaxed and able to deal with stress. The first acupuncture texts to discuss problems of fertility date back over two thousand years. Recently, western science has established the following proven benefits that acupuncture offers in reproductive health:
- Regulates the menstrual cycle.
- Invigorates sperm, enhancing both sperm count and motility.
- Strengthens the immune system and enhances general health.
- Reduces stress, controls anxiety, enhances sleep and increases energy levels.
- Balances endocrine system, regulates hormones and improves egg quality.
- Increases blood flow to the uterus, improving endometrial lining (implantation).
- Improves blood flow to the ovaries, increasing ovarian response – more follicles and better egg production.
- Lessens the side effects associated with hormonal treatment.
- Protects against miscarriage, improving live birth rate.
- Increases the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Women suffering from functional infertility are good candidates for acupuncture. Fertility issues associated with hormonal problems, immune disorders, irregular menstruation, amenorrhoea (no periods) and age related issues fall within this category. Stress has been proven to dramatically decrease fertility for both men and women. Acupuncture is wonderful for reducing stress and bringing a more relaxed state which can dramatically increase fertility. “Cultivate the soil before you plant the seed” – is an important concept in Chinese Medicine. Both parents to be should be brought to Optimum health before conceiving. This will determine the health of sperm and egg and deliver optimum constitutional health to the newborn. On going treatment during pregnancy is recommended for the same reason.