Acupuncture, as you may have heard, is a Chinese traditional healing method. It involves tapping into our body’s life force energy, or QI, and improving its flow. The goal of acupuncture is to remove the obstacles that are in the way of our life force energy and help QI flow freely. To make this happen, an acupuncturist would use special, ultra-thin needles to identify specific points or nerve endings in your body that need to be stimulated.
Acupuncture fertility treatment therefore uses acupuncture to help a woman conceive. What it does is it gives your body a boost to make it more likely for you to conceive. It helps troubleshoot problems that may be causing difficulty in conception.
For example, if one of the main reasons why you are finding it difficult to conceive is stress and anxiety, acupuncture can help release endorphins throughout your body, reducing your stress and anxiety levels. With regular acupuncture treatment, your mental and physical health can improve, and this may boost your chances of conceiving.
What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture Fertility Treatment?
Acupuncture in general helps address a lot of concerns outside of infertility, so that would be its major benefit. Aside from offering stress relief, it can also help regulate or balance your hormones. It can improve or increase blood flow to your uterus or overall reproductive system, and this in turn helps address issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, endometriosis, or other pre-existing conditions that are making it difficult for you to conceive.
Additionally, acupuncture helps you manage the side effects of fertility treatments you may currently be having. If you are taking fertility medications, for example, and that has caused some bloating or nausea, regular acupuncture treatment can reduce those side effects.
Mostly, acupuncture helps you relax. Ask anyone that has taken extra steps to improve their fertility, and they will tell you that stress only reduces your chances. The journey you are on as you are trying to get pregnant can cause a lot of frustration and confusion – on top of any physical inconveniences you may be experiencing.
Along with getting enough sleep, making time to exercise, eating healthy, staying hydrated, and making all the good choices to improve your overall health, acupuncture is one of the best ways you can improve your mental and physical health as you prepare yourself for a baby.
Is It Safe? What Can I Expect?
The practice itself is safe – acupuncture has been practiced for centuries and has improved the lives of so many, in aspects ranging from fertility to management of chronic illnesses. All you need to do is make sure that the provider you choose is a professional and is experienced. Most Fertility and IVF clinics will refer you to acupuncturists they can vouch for.
Take extra care to examine the facility and the materials they will be using – for example, see to it that the needles are packaged individually and are single-use ones. The needles must also be made of stainless steel, and they should be sterilised. Each needle will be inserted into specific acupoints, and they are extremely thin, so you may feel them being inserted, but there will not be any pain. Expect to feel calm and relaxed, and you may fall asleep.
Should I let my OB-GYN know?
Yes, it would be best to make sure your OB-GYN or other medical professionals you work with are on board with the idea. They would know your specific situation and are able to give advice that is tailored to you. They know your body and your journey almost as well as you do, and their go-ahead should be confirmed.
Similarly, you should make your acupuncturist fully aware of your medical history. Any relevant information, even though it may not be related to fertility, should be discussed with your acupuncturist as they may be able to identify whether or not that should affect your treatment.
If you are currently on an in-vitro fertilisation treatment or are on a prescribed fertility treatment with medication, your team and acupuncturist will want to align their treatment plan for you.