Acupuncture in Practice: Treating Infertility
You’ve probably heard of someone’s friend of a friend’s cousin who had trouble getting pregnant but got pregnant using acupuncture and swear by it…but it’s actually for good reason!
Acupuncture is so amazing in so many ways. It is one of the tools I use a lot to treat those experiencing infertility. The story I hear from many of the women who come through my door is very similar to the one above. They’ve heard of acupuncture because it helped someone they know who has gone through what they are and they want to know if it can help them too.
There is usually a bit of confusion on what acupuncture does to help your fertility, so I’m going to explain in how it can help, but first I want to talk about diagnosis. In order for any ND or acupuncturist to give you acupuncture, they need come up with your Chinese Medicine diagnosis which differs greatly from the label you’ve been given from your fertility clinic or gynecologist. The beauty of Chinese Medicine, is that we can look at two people given the same conventional diagnosis so differently, allowing for more individualized treatment.
Now to clear up your confusion, here are 5 ways acupuncture can improve your fertility:
1) Improve blood flow to the uterus and improve uterine lining -> Uterine lining that’s too thin can be the reason for many cancelled IVF cycles which, can I say, is just so darn frustrating. The research around improving this even through medications are low, but acupuncture has shown to help thicken lining to get you to transfer day!
2) Improve low numbers in ovarian reserve -> This seems to be a common issue with women having children later in life. In this case, I would definitely tackle other areas like adrenals and Vitamin D status, however using acupuncture alongside helps improve the number of mature follicles necessary for a worth while retrieval.
3) Improve response to fertility medications/decrease side effects -> When going through IVF, there are a TON of medications used. Some people, called poor responders, don’t respond to the medications as expected and need a little extra help. That’s where acupuncture can improve responses to medications! It can also help mitigate some of those unwanted side effects.
4) Stress Reduction -> It has been said getting diagnosed with infertility is the second most stressful diagnosis to receive next to cancer. Acupuncture helps release endorphins leaving you feeling like you just got the best sleep of your life. With all the hustling between appointments, lab testing, and work, the acupuncture sessions are quite often the only hour of quiet my patients get to themselves during the week (and let me tell you, they appreciate it).
5) Improve pregnancy rates -> The last, but definitely not the least, reason to receive acupuncture for fertility. There is a specific protocol, called the Paulus Protocol, shown to improve implantation rates if having gotten acupuncture right before and after the embryo is transferred. Some Reproductive Endocrinologists will even say they can tell who has gotten acupuncture prior to their transfer because those patients are the most relaxed!
When doing acupuncture for fertility, I recommend once a week for 12 weeks for best results. In reality, I meet women in varying stages of their fertility journeys and some (regular) acupuncture is better than none.
Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in a free 30 min consultation to discuss your case at email@example.com.