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You might have heard that celebrities use acupuncture for relaxation, while athletes like to do a session or two for relieving pain after a big game.
But would you believe that inserting needles at certain points of your body can increase fertility?
Yes, you read that right, acupuncture claims that consistent treatments can increase your chances of getting pregnant. But is it actually effective? Let’s discuss it below.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Ancient Chinese Medicine that uses thin needles to balance your body’s flow of energy. It’s rooted in the philosophy that your body contains different pathways, called meridians, where energy flows.
When any of these pathways get blocked, you experience pain or illnesses. So to remedy this, acupuncture inserts needles on certain points in your body to get rid of the blockages and restore a healthy flow of energy.
It’s shown to reduce pain and manage symptoms of musculoskeletal diseases, including osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. It also relaxes your brain and body, so it’s also used to treat depression and anxiety. But a surprising benefit not many know is that it also improves fertility.
Does acupuncture help with trying to get pregnant?
While acupuncture may not cure infertility, it’s shown to improve your chances of getting pregnant. It does this by stimulating blood flow to your reproductive organs, regulating your menstrual cycle, improving the quality of your eggs, and preventing miscarriage.
It also addresses hormonal imbalances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and hypothyroidism. Your partner can also benefit from acupuncture treatments as it can increase their sperm quality, concentration, and motility.
If you’re going to do In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, you should consider doing acupuncture alongside it. Research shows that it improves the rate of positive pregnancy tests and live births compared to those who didn’t receive any treatment. It also helps relax you to minimize stress and anxiety – which is crucial during the IVF process.
What is the success rate of acupuncture for fertility?
If you’re still unsure whether you should try acupuncture for fertility, a meta-analysis found that consistent treatments improved the pregnancy rates of 5,000 women without undergoing assisted reproductive treatments.
However, if you choose to undergo the IVF route, another meta-analysis shows that acupuncture can also increase clinical pregnancy rates by 28-32%, ongoing pregnancy rates by 42%, and live birth rates by 28%. It’s also shown to increase live birth rates by 42% in women with a previously failed IVF cycle.
When should I start acupuncture for fertility?
It’s recommended that you start your acupuncture 90 days or three cycles before your planned conception to get the most out of your treatments. If you plan to go through IVF or Intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments, you should start your acupuncture sessions 6-8 weeks before your scheduled embryo transfer or insemination.
Once pregnant, you can also continue your acupuncture treatments since it’s proven to help with fatigue, morning sickness, and depression. But make sure to consult your OB/GYN beforehand to make sure the treatment is safe for you and your baby.
Who should do acupuncture for fertility?
You should consider trying acupuncture for fertility if you’re:
- Having difficulty getting pregnant
- Over 35 years old and what to increase your chances of getting pregnant
- Have been pregnant before but struggle to hold the pregnancy
- About to go through assisted reproductive treatments, such as IVF and IUI
- About to freeze your eggs for future fertility success
If you’re suffering from acute and chronic illnesses, talk to your doctor first about whether acupuncture is safe for your condition. But if you have a metal allergy or blood disorder or are taking blood thinners, acupuncture may not be the best treatment for you.
On your initial appointment, your acupuncturist will ask about your medical history to assess your health and goals for the treatment. From there, they’ll create a personalized acupuncture treatment plan focused on improving your fertility.
Depending on the program, acupuncture may be accompanied by other holistic treatments, such as herbal medicine, energy healing, and electroacupuncture.
The number of sessions in your program will depend on your health history and fertility journey. Most clinics will offer 10-12 sessions, where you’ll usually start with 1-3 weekly sessions. Talk to your acupuncturist about your treatment plan so you know what to expect for the upcoming weeks.
Ready to start your acupuncture treatment?
If you’re ready to try acupuncture for fertility, Integrative Healing Arts offers comprehensive Fertility Acupuncture. It combines acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and energy healing to help increase your chances of getting pregnant. They also offer pain management, stress management, and anti-aging and rejuvenation services to promote overall health. If you have questions or inquiries, feel free to reach out to them now.