Written by Aparna Hari
Have you ever wondered how getting poked with needles could help you get pregnant? Research suggests that acupuncture for fertility works indirectly by reducing stress, anxiety and depression in infertile people. Moreover, Ancient Chinese yore says it treats infertility by inserting needles in certain points. It enhances qi or the flow of energy by removing blockages in the energy pathways. An undisturbed flow of energy (or Prana Shakti in Indian terms) means more blood circulation.
Modern science also agrees with the benefits of Acupuncture therapy. Acupuncture therapy can be taken side by side with fertility treatments. It stimulates the nervous system –natural painkillers get released which boosts physical and mental health. The needles used should be sterile or clean to avoid any infection. Your doctor can recommend you to a licensed practitioner or you can search online as well. Finding an Acupuncturist is easy if you search the web, and choose someone who has a lot of good reviews.
In This Article
Acupuncture is the insertion of very thin needles in the body to relieve pain or other health conditions. Ancient Chinese wisdom talks about 12 meridian points in the human body. These include the heart, kidney, spleen, liver, and so on. Hundreds of acupoints or energy points are connected to these 12 main channels.
Imagine a stream of water blocked by a big rock. Consequently, the water won’t reach the destination. The same goes for your body. A big network of energy or qi is responsible for keeping you healthy. And any blockages in its free flow cause illness. Therefore, an Acupuncturist tries to clear the blockages with their needles.
Another explanation for Acupuncture function is that the needles make your brain focus on a specific area of your body. Hence, the natural pain-relieving mechanism begins to release endorphins and neurotransmitters. Scientific evidence supports the working of acupuncture to relieve pain and even the quality of life in asthma patients.
Acupuncture is safe if done well, and by an experienced Acupuncturist. You do not have to stop your usual conventional treatments like In vitro fertilization (IVF) to undergo Acupuncture treatment. In line with the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Acupuncture is safe if the equipment used is sterile or hygienic.
Science supports some of the benefits of acupuncture such as stress relief and pain relief. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting the sole use of Acupuncture for fertility. A study was conducted to understand the outcomes of Acupuncture in IVF treatments.
A 2018 study evaluated the use of Acupuncture alongside in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women. In vitro fertilization means – an egg from a woman’s body is combined with sperm. All this happens outside the body. Once combined, again the egg is put inside her uterus to develop further.
Moving forward, the 800 participants were going through this IVF treatment to improve their fertility. After this treatment, there are more chances of giving birth to a baby. The researchers divided these participants into two groups. The first got sham Acupuncture (pseudo-acupuncture; the needles are not even inserted deep, it’s just a placebo effect) and the other group went under real Acupuncture.
18.3% of women from the first group gave birth to a baby, while the second group had a 17.8% birth success rate. You see, the difference between sham Acupuncture and real Acupuncture is almost negligible. The birth success rate would have remained the same even without any type of Acupuncture.
Should We Still Use Acupuncture to Improve fertility after this study has disapproved of it?
The researchers don’t know what would have been the birth success rate among these women without the involvement of acupuncture. Besides, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) suggests that people getting treatments to improve fertility should try acupuncture. It surely helps to manage the stress and anxiety that follows an infertility diagnosis.
The complexity involved in treating infertility can cause depression. Acupuncture is a proven remedy to heal depression, stress and anxiety. Moreover, it has been seen that infertility problems among people increase under stress and other mental health conditions.
Other than this, if the cortisol (stress hormone) levels are higher than normal, it increases the chances of miscarriage for expectant mothers. Therefore, Acupuncture treatment is highly beneficial to keep your mind relaxed.
The below table mentions the Acupuncture points that practitioners focus on to improve fertility and reduce stress.
|Ex-CA1||Also called ‘uterus point’. Located through the centerline, a thumb’s above the pubic bone.|
|CV2||Located in the Pubic bone’s center.|
|CV5||Three inches above the pubic bone, also called the ‘stone gate point.’|
|KD13||Located through the kidney meridian|
Acupuncture is completely safe, but to go through this process smoothly, keep these things in mind.
There are rarely any side effects if the treatment is performed by an experienced Acupuncturist. However, if the practitioner inserts the needle too deeply, serious injuries may follow such as a punctured lung. Some other risks and side effects are
Acupuncture for fertility is an excellent option. But only if done alongside appropriate medical treatments to improve fertility. The only side effect that some people face is infection from unhygienic needles. Therefore, see that the needles of your practitioner are packed and only for single use.
It takes some time for acupuncture to start showing results. You should start Acupuncture treatment at least 2-3 months before beginning to try to conceive or start your medical fertility treatments.
Mostly, ten to twelve sessions are recommended to begin with. The number of sessions depends on many factors such as the patient’s medical history and response to Acupuncture treatment.
Although there’s a lack of scientific evidence, the practitioners claim that both the quality and quantity of eggs can be improved. Acupuncturists say that this is because the treatment improves the blood flow to the ovaries.
Read Also: 25 Feng Shui Tips to Enhance Your Fertility
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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