In the UK over 80% of healthy women will get pregnant within a year of trying for a baby and this number increases to 93% within two years. However, if you are 35 or over you are more likely to have fertility issues and it may take as many as three years before you get pregnant.
The aim of modern fertility treatment is not only to achieve a pregnancy but also to have the healthiest possible baby. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress response and anxiety and this in turn may lead to a better overall hormonal balance within the reproductive cycle. Acupuncture offers support during IVF cycles which benefits both during the stimulation phase and during pre and post embryo transfer treatments.
The ideal treatment plan is to start working with your acupuncturist during the three months before conceiving as this is the optimum time period affecting both egg and sperm quality. It is a good idea to come and have an initial consultation quite early in the planning process so that you can then plan together the best possible approach.
Acupuncture has been shown to improve fertility rates when used as a complementary therapy for those undergoing IVF and other assisted reproductive treatments by easing unwanted side effects, mitigating some negative effects of IVF stimulation, and enhancing implantation and pregnancy rates.
Amongst the benefits researched and confirmed are the following:
• Regulation of menstrual cycle.
• Improved sperm count and motility.
• Reduced stress and anxiety associated with infertility.
• Regulation of hormone and endocrine systems
• Improved blood flow in the uterus and ovaries thereby increasing ovarian sensitivity and enabling an improved uterine lining for implantation.
Acupuncture treatments vary from person to person, but are usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles (twelve weeks). Appointments include acupuncture, stress reduction and dietary counselling. Treatments work alone but are also an excellent addition to any Western intervention. If you are trying to get pregnant, an acupuncturist’s simple aim is to help you to succeed in the quickest and most natural way possible, with the best possible outcome.