Finding it difficult to get pregnant?
These days, an estimated 1 in 6 couples have problems conceiving, even though the majority should be able to go on to have a baby through natural means. We recognise the importance of helping you understand the various factors that could be adversely affecting your fertility and therefore your chances of conceiving. We can help at whichever stage of fertility or pregnancy you are at.
Acupuncture can help to normalise your menstrual cycle, hormone levels and simply help you and your partner to relax. Several recent studies showed that acupuncture can increase chances of conception, sometimes by as much as 65% (Manheimer et al, 2008). It helps a couple to produce healthy eggs and sperm, relieves stress and regulates the menstrual cycle. All these are important for conception. Research shows that women who became pregnant after receiving acupuncture treatment have healthier pregnancies, fewer miscarriages and easier labours.
Acupuncture can help support you with:
- IVF, IUI and Assisted Fertility Treatments
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Early Menopause
- Unexplained Infertility
Acupuncture works best when a functional problem is the cause of infertility, specifically when endometriosis, ovulatory problems or hormonal imbalances are the cause for not getting pregnant.
Acupuncture and Female Infertility
Many women choose acupuncture fertility treatment either on its own or in conjunction with assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, such as IVF.
Studies have proved the effectiveness of acupuncture for infertility. A 2004 study conducted by the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Center in Colorado found that 51% of women who underwent both IVF and acupuncture treatment at the same time became pregnant, while only 36% of those who only underwent IVF did. The latter group also had higher rates of miscarriage stillbirth (20%) compared to those women who had received acupuncture (8%).
Acupuncture and Male Infertility
Men can also use acupuncture to treat their fertility problems, including erectile dysfunction or sperm health problems, such as low sperm count.
Also, a 2005 study conducted by Shanghai University in China found that acupuncture also helped treat male infertility. Of the men who participated, those who had acupuncture had an increased percentage of sperm in their semen; their sperm structure and morphology was also healthier than their counterparts who did not undergo acupuncture infertility treatment.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Embarking on IVF can be very demanding and stressful, but if you are supported you can get through anything. The right physical, nutritional, and emotional support, before and during the treatment, can help to offset these stresses and strains and enhance your overall wellbeing. This support will help you to stay positive and in the right mindset too, all of which can help improve your chances of success.
Acupuncture can be used before, after and during each stage of your IVF cycle to:
- Help you and your partner to relax.
- Improve the quality of both eggs and sperm.
- Improve the quality and quantity of follicles.
- Improve the thickness of the uterine lining.
- Reduce the symptoms and side-effects of medications used during IVF.
- Provide a source of support before, during and after your cycle.
- Help increase success rates.
- Help prevent miscarriage.
We prefer that you talk to us before your treatment cycle commences. On your first visit, you will be given a thorough consultation. From this we can assess your individual circumstances and suggest a treatment plan for you.
In most cases this will consist of:
- Preparation phase (initial consultation, preparing the body for IVF cycle)
- Support phase (down-regulation & stimulation)
- Embryo transfer (treatment before/after embryo harvesting and transfer)
- Post transfer (treatment up to 5 days after transfer)
At each stage we will take account of ongoing blood tests, ultrasound scans etc and adjust our treatments accordingly. For example, acupuncture points may be used to increase blood flow to your uterus, so as to increase the endometrial lining in readiness for implantation.
Once pregnant the female body undergoes many changes. Some women may experience some unpleasant symptoms based on hormonal changes that vary within each trimester. Chinese medicine may assist in relieving the intensity of these symptoms and other circumstances that may eventuate that can cause the mother distress. The following are some examples of some symptoms that herbal medicine or/and acupuncture can help in many cases.
- Morning Sickness
- Acute/chronic back ache and sciatica
- Bleeding during Pregnancy
- Inducing Labour
Breech position occurs when the baby presents for delivery with his or her buttocks or feet, rather than head, first. Moxibustion can be used to try and gently turn the baby through heating the little toe, this signals the placenta to release hormones that cause the baby to turn. If the treatment is performed carefully, it is very safe.
What are the benefits?
- The treatment is completely safe for both the expectant mother and the unborn child. The spontaneous turning will be provoked; there is no direct contact with the baby.
- The treatment is not a burden for the mother, unlike the external turning by a gynaecologist around the 36th week of pregnancy.
- There are no known side effects.
- In 75% of the cases, the baby will turn spontaneously in the womb, provided the treatment is performed between the 33rd and the 36th week of the pregnancy.
Sometimes stress, diet or excessive exercise can disrupt normal functioning of the menstrual cycle. Acupuncture can help repair and “smooth out the bumpy ride,” whether the flow is too heavy or too little, or the cycle is shortened, delayed or irregular. Typically, you will need to have treatment through several cycles to see a lasting effect.
Acupuncture can help with:
- Period pain/discomfort
- Heavy bleeding
- Irregular, long or short menstrual cycle
- Headaches and digestive disturbances around the time of your period
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS, PMT)
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used to treat some of the common symptoms associated with menopause while giving the body the support it needs through this period.
Some of the most common symptoms are hot flushes night sweats, insomnia, heart palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, fatigue, tinnitus, migraines, headaches, irritability or mood swings.