Can Acupuncture Actually Boost Your Fertility?
Other people are often full of advice when it comes to your children – even before you have conceived. This means anybody who is aware of your fertility issues is probably “kindly” offering you a million pieces of overwhelming and contradictory advice.
Perhaps acupuncture has been one of those “helpful suggestions.” But you’re probably wondering – will putting needles in my body actually make any difference when it comes to having a baby of my own?
Sure – if it will be effective, you’d do anything! But why go through the hassle for nothing?
I am here to help you wade through the information on acupuncture and fertility. Let’s go through the information together.
Ways Acupuncture Can Increase Fertility
Are you curious about how acupuncture could make you more fertile? Here are some of the most common reasons acupuncture is recommended for fertility problems. I will also show you studies and medical references to back up the claims.
1. IVF Help
If you are going through the expensive and exhausting process of In Vitro Fertilization, I know you want to see results on that first try. It is possible that acupuncture can help.
Why don’t we look at a few studies?
• One study in the early 2000s looked at 160 women undergoing assisted reproductive technology with “good quality embryos.” Half had acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer. 21 of the 80 women without acupuncture became pregnant. 34 of the 80 women with acupuncture became pregnant.
• A later study (2008) showed “preliminary evidence” to suggest that when acupuncture is given with an IVF embryo transfer, pregnancy rates, as well as live birth rates, improve.
• Another study was not so sure that acupuncture increased IVF pregnancy ratings in general. But they did find that acupuncture increased pregnancies at IVF clinics with usual success rates under 32%. They also noted that the acupuncture helped with the stress and “psychological challenges related to IVF and fertility.”
2. Increased Blood Flow
The thickness of your uterus’s lining is an important aspect of your fertility. For women with less than 5mm of uterine lining, there is almost a zero chance of pregnancy. For women with 7mm, you have a decreased chance of getting pregnant.
Investigative studies are seeing if Viagra – the male erection drug – can actually increase the blood flow to the uterus to help with this problem. But acupuncture could be an alternative.
You see, it just so happens that one way acupuncture helps the body is to increase blood flow. The more blood you have getting to the to the endometrium, ovaries, and uterus, the better chance you have of a thicker uterine lining.
3. Improved Ovarian Functions And Egg Production
More and more studies are popping up showing how acupuncture aids many reproductive health problems – even including troubles with your period. This wide scope also includes ovarian function, follicular function, and egg production.
Dr. Raymond Chang, an acupuncturist and western-trained medical doctor, says to WebMD: “When you compare the pregnancy rates for an egg producing drug such as Clomid to acupuncture alone, the rates are equal — a 50% chance of pregnancy in three months for general patients — to those not undergoing IVF.”
I want you to know that he also admitted this would work on one egg at a time. Sometimes that is not enough to achieve success.
4. Healthier Body
Now let’s start thinking out of the box a bit.
Acupuncture also assists in creating a healthier, more efficient body. In turn, that body is more likely to boost the effectiveness of the reproductive system as well as modern reproductive treatments.
Recommended Reading: How To Use the Ketogenic Diet to Conquer PCOS-Related Fertility Issues
In addition to these fertility-based functions, Acupuncture can help in other ways too:
• Diabetes (non-insulin-dependent)
• Digestive issues
• Tobacco dependence
• And much more…
5. Less Stress
I know that if you are dealing with infertility, “stress” is probably an understatement. You are on an emotional rollercoaster.
Which brings us to the cruel irony: it’s no secret that stress can affect conception – and not in a positive way. Acupuncture has been used as a stress-buster for countless years (it is so successful at this, it is even used to treat anxiety disorders).
Yes, studies are showing that stress-reducing habits potentially increase your chance of conception. But beyond that – if you can find any sort of emotional help in the exhausting process of trying to make a baby – why not take that help when it is offered?
When Should You Start?
If you want to give acupuncture a shot, here are tips on the timing:
• When used to support IVF, you should receive acupuncture both before and after the treatment. Some recommend starting acupuncture four months before your IFV appointment.
• For those not necessarily pairing acupuncture with IVF, there is no time like the present. You can begin at any point.
What To Expect With Acupuncture
I want to answer some important final questions you may be asking:
• Is acupuncture safe? As long as you are in a licensed establishment with an experienced acupuncturist, the only side effects you should ever feel is the not-too-common soreness or bruising from the needle. All needles are required to be sterile and disposable, so there is not a fear of infection.
• How many needles? Nobody likes pain. I get it. Though it is common to have anywhere between 5 and 20 needles, they are extremely thin. You still may feel a mild ache or sting. They normally stay in for a few minutes – up to 20 or 30.
• How much does it cost? Expect to pay anywhere between $60 and $120+ per session. See if you can get a bundle deal.
Is Acupuncture The Right Choice To Boost Your Fertility?
At the end of the day, there is no real way to tell if acupuncture will bring you out of overwhelming infertility issues and into motherhood. But there is plenty of research showing you it can help.
Keep in mind the “Why Not? Factor.” Acupuncture is safe. There are no known side effects other than potential mild discomfort. Compared to the cost of treatments like IVF, it is also affordable.
Other than that teeny-tiny sting – it can’t hurt to try.