According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a 3000 year old healing practice, infertility occurs due to blockages in the body’s Qi or life force. These blockages may lead to difficulties conceiving. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for fertility as it opens channels in the body that have been blocked or restricted. Infertility might be due to a number of syndromes, namely deficiency, stagnancy or heat.
Deficiency syndrome occurs when there are blockages disrupting the reproductive system.
Stagnancy syndrome refers to the restriction of energy flow and blood.
Heat syndrome is related to inflammation, impacting sperm quality and increasing the likelihood of infection.
Infertility in both men and women is often a result of Liver Qi stagnation. Acupuncture is an effective fertility treatment for both partners as it improves sperm quality and ovarian health by
- balancing hormones,
- strengthening the immune system,
- improving energy and blood flow,
- stimulating the nervous system and
- removing stasis and phlegm.
Acupuncture for Fertility alongside IVF
Acupuncture is not a quick fix procedure but it does work relatively quickly – think months not years. Especially if employed in the early stages of trying to get pregnant, acupuncture can greatly enhance your chances of conceiving in under a year. Significant research has proven the efficacy of acupuncture alongside IVF (it nearly doubles the success rate). This is especially true if treatment is started a few months before beginning IVF. It can help reduce some of the side effects of fertility medications such as bloating and nausea.
It’s ideal to receive treatment 1-3 times per week for several months to realize the benefits.
Acupuncture also treats common conditions that lead to infertility such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. This is because acupuncture stimulates blood flow to the reproductive organs, balances hormones and reduces stress.
Acupuncture as treatment for Unexplained Infertility
Speaking of stress, one of the leading causes of Unexplained Infertility, anything you can do to lower your stress levels while trying to conceive is worthwhile. A relatively recent review of scientific research cited a doubling in pregnancy rates among women who underwent TCM treatment for a four month period. In another study, over 60% of women who participated in 6 months of integrative treatment for Unexplained Infertility including herbal medicine, acupuncture and moxibustion got pregnant within that time period.
Acupuncture is an effective, noninvasive treatment option both for Unexplained Infertility as well as infertility due to hormone imbalances and other medical diagnoses. It is effective on its own but can also be used to enhance and complement other types of treatment. It treats both male and female infertility so it is recommended that both partners undergo treatment to see the best results.
Where can I receive treatment?
We have a couple wonderful acupuncture & TCM practitioners at Thuja Wellness who have a particular interest in helping you with your fertility. You can book online or call us to inquire about our integrated fertility enhancement program.