3 Ways Acupuncture Helps Fertility

Acupuncture for treating infertility

The overwhelming sense of stress and emotional trauma experienced by many women struggling with infertility is an unwelcome motivator that drives them to seek alternative treatment options to treat infertility. From home remedies and fertility drugs to in vitro fertilization (IVF), modern healthcare has expanded the array of fertility options available for women struggling to conceive.

However, in the search for affordable, safe, and effective health care, holistic and alternative treatments are gaining appeal among the general public. For example, Traditional Chinese Medicine has been practiced for thousands of years to treat different body conditions. It includes techniques and procedures such as Gua Sha, moxibustion, cupping, acupuncture, and herbal medicine. Acupuncture, in particular, has rapidly grown in the general public and valued for pain-relieving, stress-reducing, and relaxing benefits, but also includes a component of fertility treatments. Here’s how it can help your fertility. 

Reduces Stress

One of the key ways acupuncture can help fertility is by reducing stress levels naturally. When stress levels are elevated, your body secretes a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol can cause an imbalance of the natural hormonal levels in the body, including that of the thyroid and pituitary gland. Both these glands are instrumental in reproductive health, and a hormonal imbalance can result in a failure to ovulate. 

There is evidence [1] that regular acupuncture sessions can decrease the physiological stress response in both animals and humans. It also enables the pituitary and thyroid gland to begin functioning normally and allow ovulation to begin again. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture has successfully helped women to begin ovulating again by reducing their stress levels, even after extended periods on birth control.

Regulates hormonal imbalance

Most women are aware of the hormones associated with reproduction, such as progesterone and estrogen, but there are other hormones that frequently become imbalanced and can lead to infertility. For women, in particular, balancing reproductive, adrenal, and thyroid hormones is important for menstrual cycle regulation, conception, and fertility.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at regulating hormone levels, improving menstrual health and coping for young women experiencing delays getting pregnant. [2] Many researchers have documented the positive effects of acupuncture sessions on hormonal production and regulation. A 2014 study found that acupuncture works as bioidentical hormone therapy for balancing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in women. 

Another study[3] showed that it could help with fertility issues by supporting healthy sex hormone levels. As discussed earlier, it can also help women conceive by balancing cortisol levels to relieve stress, regulating adrenal function, and normalizing the stress response.

Brings blood flow to the uterus

Acupuncture also helps your fertility by increasing the flow of blood to primary reproductive organs, such as the ovaries and the uterus (endometrium) [4]. The tiny needles stimulate the local blood vessels and increase the blood flow that further enhances the chances for the fertilized egg to be adequately nourished and successfully carried to term. Even medical doctors widely acknowledge the blood flow stimulation properties of acupuncture to help egg production in women with infertility problems.

Take Away

Statistics show that women with fertility issues who use acupuncture in conjunction with standard medical approaches become pregnant at a higher rate. If you are facing infertility problems, then it’s time to consider alternative therapies such as acupuncture, whether in addition to conventional treatments you are receiving or on its own. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help your fertility by reducing stress levels, increasing the flow of blood to the reproductive organs, and regulating the hormones – without causing dangerous side effects.

References

  1. Does Acupuncture Reduce Stress Over Time? A Clinical Heart Rate Variability Study in Hypertensive Patients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2014 Oct 1; 26(5): 286–294
  2. Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2014 Mar 17; 6: 313–325
  3. A Literature Review of Women’s Sex Hormone Changes by Acupuncture Treatment: Analysis of Human and Animal Studies, Published online 2018 Nov 15.
  4. Exploring the Effects of Chinese Medicine in Improving Uterine Endometrial Blood Flow for Increasing the Successful Rate of in Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer, US National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information 2011 Dec;9(12):1301-6

Merriam Park Acupuncture offers acupuncture, cupping, Gua Sha and herbal medicine services in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul MN metropolitan area. 

Published: June 3, 2020

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