So you know what acupuncture is. Your friends are all telling you to try it to help you get pregnant. Maybe you’re getting frustrated with your fertility journey – why is it taking so long? – or maybe you’re just getting started but want to know you’re doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. But you’re wondering how getting treated with tiny needles is going to help improve your fertility. If you’re curious about how acupuncture can improve fertility, you’re not alone. Acupuncture can influence fertility in a number of ways.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body is thought of in terms of Yin and Yang. Yin is cool, watery, passive, and receptive, while Yang is hot, fiery, active, and expansive. Yin and Yang must be balanced for the menstrual cycle to be regular and optimally fertile. Balancing Yin and Yang is another way to think of balancing hormones. Acupuncture can regulate hormones that play a role in the menstrual cycle and ovulation, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone.
Good blood flow to the ovaries and uterus is essential for fertility. Acupuncture can significantly increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, improving egg quality and the ability of a fertilized egg to implant. This improved blood flow also supplies nutrients to the developing eggs before ovulation and nourishes the uterine lining to support healthy implantation in early pregnancy.
Stress is one of many factors that can negatively impact fertility, particularly in modern-day life. Acupuncture regulates the nervous system to improve stress resiliency, allowing you to bounce back from stress more easily and reducing the impact of stress on your hormones.
Improved Ovarian Function
Healthy ovulation is an essential piece of the fertility puzzle which relies on healthy, responsive ovaries. Acupuncture can improve ovarian function and promote regular ovulation, which increases your chances of conceiving.
Sperm Counts and Quality
Optimal fertility, of course, requires healthy sperm. Whether or not you’ve been told you have issues with sperm counts or quality, improving sperm quality will increase fertility for couples who are trying to conceive. Acupuncture improves both numbers of sperm and their quality in as little as 4 weeks.
Inflammation in the reproductive system can impair fertility by damaging eggs and sperm and reducing chances for implantation. Our immune systems must be well-tuned in order to enhance the implantation process and cue the body to accept a new pregnancy. Acupuncture reduces overall inflammation in the body and balances immune factors to promote conception.
Egg quality is an elusive measure that indicates eggs with enough energy (mitochondria) and internal organization (chromosomal integrity) to successfully fertilize and rapidly grow to hundreds of organized cells that are ready to implant. Acupuncture improves egg quality, which increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
For those undergoing IVF treatment, acupuncture is an essential tool to improve success rates. By improving blood flow, ovarian responsiveness, and egg quality, acupuncture can lead to an improved number and quality of eggs. Acupuncture can also play an essential role in preparing for an embryo transfer and has been shown to improve IVF success rates by up to 65% in some studies.
If you’re struggling with fertility, acupuncture is a key addition to your treatment plan. A qualified fertility acupuncture expert can help you decide on the best course of treatment for your individual needs and support you through the fertility process.