Being prodded and poked may not seem the most ideal way to boost your fertility. However, some research has shown that acupuncture may help women conceive.
Acupuncture, just like massage, helps you relax and relieves overall stress. This then increases your chances of actually getting pregnant.
Curious to know how acupuncture for fertility works and how it may help you? Read on this post to find out more!
How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work?
Acupuncture works by stimulating the nerve endings found under your skin. Needles are then twisted or electronically stimulated (called electropuncture) to help activate your nerves.
Once the nerves get activated, your body releases hormones known as endorphins. These help relieve stress or any depression that’s weighing you down and thus, promote fertility.
Acupuncture proponents recommend it for various medical problems that may cause infertility. These include endometriosis, fibroids, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS.)
Let’s take a look at a research done in 2008.
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland analyzed how acupuncture affected IVF outcomes. It involved 1,366 women.
They found out that when the women underwent acupuncture when embryo transfer took place, there were improvements in the number of pregnancies, ongoing pregnancies, and live births.
Another 2002 study involved a German clinic offering 160 IVF patients with healthy embryos to participate in a study on the effects of acupuncture on IVF.
Half of them got acupuncture therapy 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. Meanwhile, the other half didn’t receive any supportive therapy.
There were 34 out of the 80 patients in the acupuncture group who got pregnant. The control group, on the other hand, only 21 out of the 80 patients got pregnant.
Acupuncture for fertility may also help relieve some side effects of fertility drugs. Common side effects range from nausea, bloating, headache, and breast tenderness.
Sure, acupuncture doesn’t guarantee results. But, women are still willing to take a shot probably because of the success stories they’ve heard.
When Should I Start My Acupuncture Treatment?
Generally, women are advised to start acupuncture treatment three months before undergoing medical treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF.)
Acupuncture is safe in general. However, we’d always advise our patients to consult with their doctor first to avoid risks of complications.
Also, if you’re considering acupuncture for fertility, always work with a licensed acupuncturist. The facility should be clean, too, and ask for necessary documents.
What Can I Expect from My First Acupuncture Session?
On your first visit, your acupuncturist will usually ask you questions about your lifestyle. This can vary from your stress levels, sleeping habits, diet, exercise, and your fertility concerns.
He or she may perform a physical exam as well, including looking at your tongue and checking your pulse. Inserting needles is the final step and can last from 30 minutes to an hour.
How often you must go will also depend on your condition.
Your acupuncturist will tailor the treatments after performing the tests above. But, acupuncture for fertility normally calls for 1-3 sessions per week.
The sessions after your first may last up to an hour. You’ll start with some discussions to update your acupuncturist, followed by a 20-40 minute treatment with the needles.
Do the Needles Hurt?
Most patients report minimal to no pain.
However, you may experience a dull, mild pinch or even a shock sensation. Moreover, you may see light bruises on areas the needles were inserted.
Infections can also happen if the needles are unsterilized. But since licensed acupuncturists only use single-use needles, you’re assured the risk for infection is very low.
Let your acupuncturist know if you’re taking aspirin or other anticoagulants (blood thinners.) These lead you to bleed or bruise excessively especially if you have a medical condition.
What Should I Avoid Before and After My Acupuncture Session?
Your acupuncturist will advise you to follow a healthy lifestyle. Other than that, nothing is really forbidden.
But, you’ll want to avoid any strenuous exercise right after your acupuncture for fertility sessions to help with the relaxation process.
How to Find a Good Acupuncturist for Fertility
If you want to try acupuncture to boost your fertility, you may want to find one who’s trained and experienced in fertility treatments. Don’t just rely on your local acupuncturist.
Here are some guidelines to consider:
- seek for a licensed acupuncturist
- he or she should have knowledge both in acupuncture and Chinese herbs
- choose someone who has experience or specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology
- ask about their training and how long they have dealt with patients with infertility
- do they use disposable needles?
- how much do they charge per session?
- ask about necessary follow-ups
- ask your fertility clinic for suggestions
Acupuncture for fertility is a cheap yet great way to improve your chances of getting pregnant. Book a schedule at our clinic now and let’s help you get started with your journey.