Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that dates back at least 2500 years. It is a very effective treatment for several health conditions but today I want to focus on how acupuncture can help those couples struggling with infertility.
In my 7 years of practice I have treated and helped several couples who struggled with infertility and supported them with supplements, lifestyle changes, emotional support and acupuncture. There are several causes of infertility- in women things such as irregular cycles, hormone imbalance, anovulatory cycles, low ovarian reserve, PCOS, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, thyroid imbalance, stress, poor egg quality, etc. and for men- low sperm count, low motility, poor morphology etc.
The most frustrating diagnosis for couples is often ‘unexplained infertility’. This is a case where all testing comes back normal and no physical cause of infertility can be identified. In these cases, stress tends to be a huge contributor followed by poor lifestyle habits such as diet, nutrient/vitamin deficiencies, smoking, exposure to toxins just to name a few. No matter what the diagnosis, naturopathic medicine and in particular acupuncture is an amazing adjunct to help support these couples on their journey to conceive.
This journey can be very emotionally draining and also puts a lot of strain on couples and thus emotional support and guidance is just as important to address as any physical issues. The more stressed we are the less likely conception is to occur. Our Healthy Body’s have an inherent need to protect themselves and thus knowing that a pregnancy will only place more stress on the Healthy Body, if a woman is already under tremendous amounts of stress her Healthy Body will go in to protective mode and prevent a pregnancy from occurring, even going as far as preventing ovulation.
Thankfully, as a naturopathic doctor I have wonderful tools that help to support the Healthy Body’s own ability to heal and protect itself so that processes are able to occur as they naturally should.
How does acupuncture help with improving fertility?
- it helps to balance hormone levels, regulate cycles
- improves chances of ovulation
- helps with thickening the uterine lining for implantation
- releases neurotransmitters that induce relaxation and help with sleep
- helps with stress relief by releasing positive endorphins in the brain
- increases sperm count
- some clinical evidence supports that it has helped unblock fallopian tubes
Acupuncture can also support those undergoing fertility treatments such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization). I have done acupuncture on patients pre and post embryo transfer to help ensure the embryo implants and becomes a viable pregnancy.
If infertility is something that you have been struggling with, book your appointment today and find out how naturopathic medicine can support you on this exasperating yet most rewarding journey.