While modern methods like fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization may come to mind when you think about combating infertility, many doctors encourage patients who are eager to improve their odds of conceiving to try a far older form of treatment: acupuncture. When used independently or in conjunction with more modern methods, acupuncture can help people struggling to become parents achieve their dream. Scroll down to explore the benefits of acupuncture for fertility.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to support wellness and treat a wide array of health issues. While it was developed as a form of traditional Chinese medicine, it is increasingly embraced by modern physicians as a form of safe, effective complementary medicine.
During an acupuncture treatment, thin needles are meticulously placed in specific points on the body, which are referred to as acupuncture points. Although many people shiver at the thought of being stuck multiple times with needles, acupuncture needles generally do not cause discomfort, and they provide impressive results. While the exact methodology that makes acupuncture so effective may not be totally understood, its effectiveness as a wellness tool is proven fact. Countless studies have shown that placing acupuncture needles in specific locations can help the body achieve homeostasis, improve circulation, combat stress, stimulate the release of natural chemicals and hormones, reduce inflammation and pain, and provide relief from an impressive range of health concerns. Plus, this time-tested practice supports fertility via multiple mechanisms.
It is widely acknowledged that stress has a negative impact on wellness and can interfere with fertility. Ironically, worrying about the possibility of impaired fertility can actually impair a person's fertility. Fortunately, acupuncture promotes relaxation and healthy sleep, making it useful in combating stress, and reducing stress can increase the odds of achieving a healthy pregnancy for many patients. As an added bonus, acupuncture treatments can spur the body to release endorphins, chemicals that do more than make people feel good. These natural painkillers are also involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle.
Special chemical messengers created in the endocrine glands, hormones play a major role in the body's ability to function, impacting everything from growth and metabolism to mood and reproduction. When hormone levels are unbalanced, problems like illness and infertility can arise.
Because acupuncture is capable of encouraging hormonal balance, it can be used to restore harmony within the body, setting the stage for conception and a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture seems to affect the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands, two areas of the brain involved in hormone production, and the ovaries; this neuroendocrine effect is thought to impact egg production and ovulation. While acupuncture doesn't stimulate the ovaries to release multiple eggs like egg-producing fertility drugs do, the pregnancy rate for women undergoing acupuncture to boost their fertility and those taking medications like Clomid are equal. Both groups have a 50 percent chance of a pregnancy within three months (source).
Improving blood flow can improve wellness and healing by ensuring a good supply of the nutrients that tissues require to thrive, and acupuncture can increase the blood flow to vital parts of the reproductive system. For example, improving circulation to the ovaries may make hormonal stimulation more effective, and boosting circulation to the uterus can nourish the endometrium, creating a rich, thick lining by facilitating the absorption of critical nutrients and hormones. This produces a better foundation for an implanted embryo and may reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Both men and women can struggle with infertility, and both sexes can benefit from acupuncture treatments intended to boost fertility. Many doctors will encourage young women who are concerned about infertility to explore acupuncture's potential before trying other, more invasive methods. Because age impacts fertility, making time a consideration, women who are 35 or older are normally encouraged to check with their doctors first to rule out any clear physical impediments to pregnancy. That doesn't mean that acupuncture won't help older women who are trying to conceive; acupuncture treatments have the potential to improve fertility in women of any childbearing age.
In some cases, traditional medical intervention is required to overcome infertility. In these situations, acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other treatments to increase the likelihood of a viable pregnancy. Numerous studies suggest that acupuncture can improve the odds of success when combined with in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination.
Acupuncture can improve fertility. It can also help prepare the body for a successful pregnancy by increasing blood flow to the womb and creating a nourishing environment for an unborn child. Could acupuncture help you conceive? To learn more about acupuncture for fertility, schedule a consultation with Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture today. Give us a call at 417-887-8075 or contact us online for more information.