Acupuncture for Infertility
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Acupuncture is a relatively low-risk, minimally-invasive, and natural treatment option for infertility issues. There are no serious side effects to acupuncture, unlike the side effects associated with standard fertility treatment medication. Some infertility treatment medication can even cause more stress and painful side effects. For example, Clomid is a powerful medication that stimulates the release of multiple eggs at once, which can have complications for the woman. For a harmless and complementary care option, consider acupuncture for fertility issues.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment that focuses on energy pathways in the body the stimulate our body’s self-healing processes. Sterile and thin stainless steel needles are inserted in acupoints found all over the body. Depending on each condition, different acupoints are stimulated. This form of alternative Eastern medicine maps out the body into meridians or channels that are affected by imbalances in the body, which can be due to lack of blood flow to the affected area.
Am I A Candidate for Acupuncture?
There are a variety of reasons that cause infertility in women and men that can be improved with acupuncture. Women suffering with anovulation, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and endometriosis can improve their chance of getting pregnant with acupuncture. For men, stress is one of the major contributing factor for issues with sperm count, motility, and impotence. Acupuncture can treat infertility issues brought on by hormonal imbalances, age, IVF preparation, and irregular or non-existent menstruation.
How Does Acupuncture Work for Infertility?
The entire infertility treatment process is a tremendously stressful time. Acupuncture can stimulate the release of beta-endorphins in the brain which can reduce stress and anxiety giving you a better chance of getting pregnant. Acupuncture also helps the body by promoting blood flow to the pelvis and reproductive organs. Proper blood flow to the endometrium can stimulate a healthy and thick uterine lining.
Acupuncture can regulate hormone levels in the body that prevent healthy ovulation rates and promote an overall healthy reproductive system. Specifically, acupuncture can stimulate the release of the gonadotropin hormone which can improve ovulation rates. Additionally, high levels of the hormone prolactin can contribute to missed or irregular periods, as well as inhibit the release of gonadotropin. Acupuncture helps to normalize these hormone levels, as well as the progesterone hormone which helps the fetus attach to the uterus.
When Should I Start?
Acupuncture can help with every step of the fertility treatment process. Whether you’re getting your body ready for a baby or in the middle of medication treatment, there’s never a wrong time to try acupuncture. Before starting, however, consult with your reproductive endocrinologist for a referral or ensure that your acupuncturist is certified and has experience with infertility issues.
How Long Is Treatment?
When you do decide to give acupuncture treatment a shot, remember that it’s not a quick fix. Treatment can last anywhere from four to six months. Insurance providers typically don’t cover acupuncture for infertility, but there are affordable options out there. Acupuncture can help you manage the tumultuous process by reducing stress, improving blood flow, balancing hormones, and letting your body heal itself.