When it comes to whether or not you should use acupuncture for infertility, the answer is “yes” in most cases. Not only does acupuncture help the body become more healthy and balanced, studies have shown improved success of fertility when the practice is used along with traditional fertility treatments.
Acupuncture for infertility treatments focus on addressing the most challenging symptoms first, including chronic pain and sleep disturbances, issues that can be amplified by chronic stress. Points chosen include those that can help regulate the endocrine system in order to avoid excess stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the misdirection of hormones that are essential for reproduction. In addition, acupuncture specializes in boosting the immune system in an effort to prevent misdirected inflammatory responses.
Acupuncture and the Immune System
Women that have immunological issues that often lead to fertility issues have been successfully treated with a TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) treatment combination of herbs, diet and acupuncture. When an acupuncturist addresses the root problem, immunological markers can end up naturally correct themselves.
Stress can definitely have an adverse effect on people experiencing fertility problems. Stress triggers the release of stress hormones (cortisol) that can cause detrimental effects on the body’s systems that are responsible for a balanced ovulatory menstrual cycle. Acupuncture successfully reduces anxiety and stress through the release of beta-endorphins and its sympathetic calming effects.
Acupuncture is known to help control pain by encouraging the release of beta-endorphin. Additionally, beta-endorphin influences the supply of a woman’s fertility and ovulatory hormones, as well as control hormones that regulate ovulation and fertility, including luteinizing hormone (L.H.), gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH.). Acupuncture for infertility also helps create improved egg quality by normalizing Hypothalamus- Pituitary – Ovarian Axis dysfunctions. This function enhances ovarian function, generating more follicles, and improving egg production.
Acupuncture Treatments for Infertility Reduces Clomid Related Side Effects
Clomid (medication commonly used for the treatment of infertility) can cause the uterine lining to thin, that’s detrimental to getting pregnant. Acupuncture can cause the uterine lining to not only thicken but become more uniform, a result of an increase of blood flow to the uterine arteries.
Acupuncture Can Improve Fertility in Men
Most people don’t realize it, but 35 to 40% of infertility problems are caused by male infertility issues. A study publicized in Fertility and Sterility determined that acupuncture was effective in treating infertility in men, resulting in a significant reduction in structural defects and an increase in the number of normal sperm generated. In other words, acupuncture was shown to improve morphology, motility and sperm count. Sperm motility is an essential part of the semen analysis (male fertility testing). The main factors of a semen analysis are count/concentration, motility percentage and morphology, which is the percentage of normal forms.
Other important aspects that play a role in the success of Acupuncture for infertility are lifestyle and nutritional guidance, including stress management, good sleep habits. Exercises that include aerobic, yoga, tai chi and meditation help reduce stress. Examples of good nutrition include following an organic diet that is rich in vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, fresh fruits and whole grains. Not eating healthy can cause an imbalanced nutritional state and mineral deficiencies that can add additional stress on the body. A combination of acupuncture, western medicine, a reduction of stress and good nutrition may be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to fertility and a healthy, full term pregnancy.