Between 80-90% of couples trying for a baby will conceive within 1 year, however for others, it may take longer, or they made need some extra help to conceive. Infertility in men and women can occur for a variety of reasons including their age, lifestyle choices or medication that they are on for example. Another factor that can affect an individual’s chances of conceiving is mental stress. Whether a couple is attempting to conceive naturally or through IVF, it can be a highly physically and emotionally stressful time. Find out whether research suggests that acupuncture could play a part in aiding fertility….
What is Acupuncture?
Traditional acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine for over 5000 years. It is based on the idea that an energy, known as Qi, continually flows through the body. When this flow of Qi is interrupted and cannot flow freely, this is when we get ill. By inserting needles into specific acupuncture points, the free flow of Qi can be resumed, which triggers the body to heal itself. In Western medicine, acupuncture is used to stimulate our sensory nerves to release natural chemicals including endorphins, melatonin (which promotes sleep) and serotonin (to promote well-being). So not only can acupuncture help to improve our physical condition but also our mental health.
How could Acupuncture assist in Fertility?
There are various ways that acupuncture is said to help to assist in fertility, the first is by improving an individual’s mental state. When the body has increased levels of endorphins and serotonin, stress levels are lowered, which can help to improve the success rates of conception (both naturally and through IVF). Because of this, couples may choose to undergo acupuncture before trying to have a baby or having IVF treatment.
Many advocates of acupuncture also report that it can boost blood flow to the reproductive organs, and also help to balance hormones (source). However, finding conclusive evidence between acupuncture and improved fertility levels is limited, as there are many other factors that can play a part.
There are a variety of factors which can play a part in your fertility, and a combination of treatments is generally the best way to maximise your chances. At a fertility fitness clinic you can find out your fertility status, undergo a fertility scan and gain greater insight into the factors that are currently affecting your chances of conceiving. Doing so will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of what treatments are right for you.