In eastern cultures, acupuncture has been used as a means to help increase fertility. It has also been used to help treat gynaecological problems such as PCOS, endometriosis etc. More recently, in the UK and other European countries it has also been used as a support mechanism to assist fertility and pregnancy.
The British Acupuncture Council have produced fact sheets outlining how acupuncture may be useful in the treatment of infertility.
It may be the woman who needs help to optimize the chances of conceiving the hoped for baby. The better a woman’s health, and the more normal her cycle is, the greater the chances of achieving and maintaining a pregnancy.
Male infertility accounts for approximately 40% of infertility and it takes approximately 100 days for sperm to develop and mature. Some research suggests that acupuncture may enhance male fertility by improving sperm counts, quality and motility. A lot of changes can be achieved during this period, in addition to acupuncture; diet and lifestyle can have a major impact on sperm health, so the clients that we work with are advised to make changes (if they are necessary).
In recent years we have become aware of the importance of lifestyle issues for both men and women prior to conception. We try to educate patients to recognise their own natural fertility signs.
Traditional acupuncture may also be effective in relieving stress, which in itself can have a detrimental effect on all of our body’s systems and is sometimes considered to be a barrier to conception. It cannot be overestimated how stressful fertility problems are for couples, so in the treatment room there is also space to talk and offload.
Acupuncture treatments would take the form of weekly sessions to begin with, and usually the treatment program would then be adjusted according to the stage of the woman’s cycle and the individual’s response.
I am a founding member of the Zita west network for Affiliated Acupuncturists. I have been trained in this unique holistic approach of trying to achieve optimum reproductive health. I use the acupuncture protocols employed at her clinic. As affiliates, we receive regular training and updates, and use an ‘on-line’ forum to share our ‘in-practice’ experiences.
I am also a member of the Acupuncture Fertility Network.
Please see the ‘What my patients say‘ section