Going through the process of having a child should be a joyous and exciting period for a couple. For many it is, but for  others it may a become long, laborious and highly stressful process. Doing the rounds of medical professional after medical professional can become very wearing on both the couple as a unit, as well as the couple as individuals. This is where acupuncture can step in.

How can acupuncture help with fertility problems?

Growing amounts of research claim that acupuncture helps with fertility in various ways.

  • Reduces stress and anxiety levels
  • Improve blood flow to the uterus resulting in thicker and more nutrient filled endometrium
  • Possibly improve ovulation which is particularly useful for women with PCOS
  • Possibly help in regulating the gonadatropin-releasing hormone leading to better ovulation
  • Clinically demonstrated improved pregnancy rates during IVF treatments.
  • Possibly improving male fertility by increasing sperm count and quality.

How long is a treatment plan?

Generally speaking your acupuncturist will want to see you for three full menstrual cycles before you attempt to conceive again. This is because this is how long it can take for things to improve. If you can not commit to three full cycles discuss this with your acupuncturist, and they may be able to find a solution. Once you start trying to conceive again, then s/he may want to see you once or twice a cycle depending on your needs. Once conception is achieved then you may choose to stop seeing your acupuncturist, or you may do as many others do and continue treatment through the first trimester to make sure that everything is going well.

How often do I have to see my acupuncturist?

To begin with you may see your acupuncturist weekly for the first cycle. This is so s/he can closely observe your cycle including the phases of your cycle as well as ovulation and menstruation. It also helps kickstart treatment to give you the best possible chance of success. After this first cycle then s/he may lessen your visits to twice a cycle, which could be just before expected ovulation and straight after your period. This may change from woman to woman for each person has different needs. It may even be just once a month, usually just before expected ovulation. It will depend on your needs, and what you and your acupuncturist deem necessary.

Is acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture administered by the hands of an experienced and fully licensed practitioner  should not hurt. The first time you receive acupuncture you may find it strange to be lying on a bed with a number of pins in you. However, you will become used to it very quickly, and it is not uncommon for people to fall fast asleep during treatment.  Always inform your practitioner if a needle is uncomfortable. S/he will happily adjust it for you. We want you to be as comfortable as possible to allow the needles their full scope.

In conclusion, acupuncture can be a very relaxing and highly effective form of treatment to bolster your fertility journey.

*image by Pascal79