Fertility issues are relatively common. These issues are distressing to both men and women and may result from dysfunction in the reproductive tract of either partner. In some cases, no cause of infertility can be isolated. Although some percentage of reproductive problems are related to anatomical abnormalities, diseases, or exposure to toxins or radiation, in many cases fertility issues may be associated with improper functioning of the nervous system and other systems within the body, conditions that acupuncture may be able to address.
Acupuncture may help a woman's body to function more efficiently, which in addition to increasing fertility, may help other reproductive treatments, like in-vitro fertilization (IVF), to work more effectively. It may also help to naturally stimulate egg production in women and provide increased blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term. Male infertility may also be a contributing factor and recent studies have shown that men who undergo acupuncture treatments for infertility, have improved semen quality and quantity.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system. Acupuncture treatments can help to increase production of endorphins in the body, which play an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle. It can affect areas of the brain involved with hormone production and the ovaries, and may ultimately impact egg production and possibly ovulation. Benefits of acupuncture treatment for women include:
- Increased blood flow to the ovaries, resulting in greater amounts of hormonal stimulation
- Increased blood flow to the lining of the uterus, to strengthen it to successfully nurture an implanted embryo
Acupuncture may also help increase the amount of healthy sperm a man can produce. When the exact cause of infertility is unknown, acupuncture can be an effective treatment option to to increase fertility and promote pregnancy.
The Acupuncture Method
Acupuncture is a treatment for both male and female infertility and involves the insertion of very fine needles to various depths into strategic points on the body. Depending on the individual, the location of the acupuncture points may vary. After the needles have been inserted, they may be stimulated manually or by electrical stimulation. Acupressure and therapeutic massage may also be performed to increase circulation. Treatment frequency for women may vary based on their menstrual cycle, or from a recommendation by an IVF specialist. Acupuncture treatment for infertility usually takes place over a course of 3 to 6 months, however, the duration and frequency of treatments will vary based on the individual.