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How Acupuncture Can Be Used to Improve Fertility for Women and Men
Getting pregnant with acupuncture may seem odd. Some women swear by it, while research is not clear on the efficiency of using acupuncture for fertility.
If you’re trying for a baby you’ve probably realized that the more you try not to think about it, the more you do! It’s normal – most of us can own up to turning into completely paranoid versions of ourselves when actively trying to conceive.
With each passing month, you see that single blue line, you might begin to wonder whether it’s ever going to happen. Fortunately, statistics show that for around 75% of women of childbearing age, conception should happen naturally within a year.
However, if you’re finding things are taking a bit longer, you may need a bit of a helping hand. There are a variety of natural methods thought to aid fertility which you may wish to explore to help speed up the process. Here, we’ll discuss acupuncture as one option to try to boost fertility.
All About Acupuncture For Fertility
What is acupuncture?
The theory behind acupuncture is somewhat bizarre and new-agey, focusing on Qi; a “life force” that supposedly runs through the body. If Qi gets trapped along the way, the body cannot function 100% correctly.
If that hasn’t made you raise a questioning eyebrow and stop reading, then how about this? The method of acupuncture involves the insertion of up to 12 needles into the skin! Not for the faint-hearted! The idea is that needles, inserted into specific pressure points on the body, can help to release the blocked life force.
Originating in China, acupuncture remains an ‘alternative medicine’ (meaning it is not practiced by Medical Doctors), but with more and more research into its effects, you may have already noticed that your local medical center now offers acupuncture as a treatment for a variety of ailments.
If you are really curious on what this Qi and acupuncture is all about, I recommend checking out the book The Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine.
Can acupuncture aid fertility?
Practitioners and followers of alternative medicines boast that the use of acupuncture can promote both male and female fertility and suggest this option is explored before seeking any medical intervention such as IVF:
- For women, it is claimed that needles inserted into the relevant pressure points can boost blood flow to the ovaries and uterus as well as restoring the body’s natural hormonal balances and therefore the menstrual cycle, therefore making conception much more likely to occur.
- For men, it is suggested that acupuncture can actually modify the basic structure of the sperm by improving kidney health (traditional Chinese medicine claims sperm is produced by the kidneys), increasing the mobility and motility of those little swimmers. (I find this theory more challenging to believe in. Sperms produced in the kidneys…)
- For both genders, some studies indicate that acupuncture can reduce stress levels, which in turn may improve fertility and also possibly reduce the risk of miscarriage.
To understand more about how acupuncture works to improve a woman’s fertility, watch the video below, which demonstrates the process.
Does it really work?
The truth is, nobody knows! A number of scientific studies have been conducted on the link between acupuncture and fertility, but each study seems to report very different results.
Most studies carried out to date focus on the effects of acupuncture on fertility when used alongside in vitro fertilization (IVF). One such study published in the British Medical Journal showed a 65% increase in successful pregnancies when acupuncture was used in conjunction with IVF. With these sorts of figures, you’d think there was definite evidence to suggest a positive link, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Other studies have shown no link whatsoever between the two. The British Fertility Society even concludes that there is currently no evidence that having acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine treatment around the time of assisted conception increases the likelihood of subsequent pregnancy.
Should I try it?
Yes, if you’re brave enough to cope with the needles! Acupuncture for fertility is known to be a safe technique and research indicates that it doesn’t affect a fetus in any way.
Whether you believe the theory behind acupuncture or not, there is significant research showing that the method can be beneficial in reducing stress which is a common cause of fertility problems. If you’re suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) it’s also worth giving acupuncture a try as it may useful in restoring normal hormonal balances.
Overall, acupuncture is a natural method to improve fertility under certain circumstances. It’s certainly less expensive and less invasive than medical fertility treatments so may be worth exploring as a first port of call.
If you have tried acupuncture for fertility or you are considering it, please let us know in the comments below!
Fertility Book Tips
If you want more information and tips for getting pregnant, check out these books:
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health
- Fertility: How to Get Pregnant – Cure Infertility, Get Pregnant & Start Expecting a Baby
- It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF
More Fertility Articles
Have you tried acupuncture for fertility or are you thinking about it? Please share any experiences or thoughts – good or bad – below.