When you think of acupuncture, you most likely imagine a source of pain or stress relief. It is less well-known as a fertility treatment and may attract skepticism as a concept. While acupuncture cannot cure every medical condition that can cause infertility, its stress-relieving properties may improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
What is acupuncture for fertility?
Infertility is the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. Causes can originate from the mother, father, or both and cover a wide range of conditions, including problems with semen or ovulation, genetics, infections, hormonal issues, reproductive system malformations, immune system reactions, and exposure to toxins. Sometimes, even with the help of a doctor, the cause cannot be identified.
When medical intervention is unsuccessful, some people may turn to acupuncture—a traditional Chinese therapy that involves inserting needles into the body. Originally used to improve the flow of energy, acupuncture can also be used alongside regular medical treatments.
How does fertility acupuncture work?
Traditionally, acupuncture was believed to unblock the flow of qi or chi, or energy, in the body, which was thought to be a cause of illness. Acupuncture involves inserting very small, fine needles at specific points to help unblock this qi.
Today, acupuncture is generally thought to stimulate blood flow and release endorphins, which can have a healing impact and boost mood. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all be significant barriers to fertility, even without an underlying medical cause. When the body is in fight or flight mode, its other systems can shut down. Acupuncture may help you relax, increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, and possibly regulate your hormones.
Numerous studies have investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture, including for fertility. However, many of these studies are small or have poor methodology, making them a controversial topic in medical circles.
Some studies show mild benefits in certain circumstances, while others report more positive results. These include improving ovulation in polycystic ovarian syndrome and boosting the effectiveness of IVF and other fertility treatments. Overall, the evidence is mixed, but there is no evidence of harm.
Is fertility acupuncture near me safe?
Acupuncture is generally considered a safe and minimally invasive procedure, whether it is carried out to treat infertility or other conditions. The key is to ensure that the acupuncturist has received proper training, that the needles are sterilized and used only once, and that all other hygiene procedures are followed. Acupuncturists should be licensed, and acupuncture needles are considered medical devices. While you may experience some mild pain, nausea, or dizziness, the risk of harm is generally low, even if it does not work for you.
There is no foolproof method to guarantee fertility. If you are having trouble conceiving, your first step should always be to consult a medical doctor. You can look for ‘fertility acupuncture near me’ online and connect with Blue Tortoise Acupuncture to ensure you get the best consultation as well as treatment in due course of time.
However, since acupuncture is unlikely to cause harm, it may be worth considering fertility acupuncture when other methods have failed, and you are still struggling.