Acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years. Evidence has been found by archaeologists of sharpened stones and bone fragments which may have been used as instruments and date back as far as 6000 BC; also documents have been found which describe the systems of diagnosis and treatment used by acupuncturists in the present day. These date back to around 100 BC.
According to statistics from the NHS around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving naturally. People are now turning to more traditional methods to help them have a child and over the years acupuncture has been used to treat some of the causes of infertility.
These days acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of extremely thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, known as channels or meridians.
Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these channels conduct qi (pronounced “chee”), or energy, between the surface of the body and the internal organs. A person’s qi regulates their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or circumstances such as an injury, illness and/or pain can result.
Acupuncture has a long and successful history in reproductive medicine and research has found that treatment may have a generally positive effect on those trying to get pregnant and may actually help them to conceive. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term. The practice may also help to improve sperm production and motility in male patients.
A study carried out in London in 2016 involved 160 couples suffering from fertility problems. Half of these couples were given acupuncture during their IVF cycle. One year on, those who underwent the ancient practice had achieved pregnancy rates of 46.2%. Among those who had not been given the acupuncture, pregnancy rates were 21.7%.
Also, the stress relief given by acupuncture treatment is undisputed. Researchers often note that patients were more relaxed and felt more optimistic following acupuncture sessions. Given that fertility treatment can cause a huge amount of stress to a couple, a little relaxation brought on by acupuncture treatment is unlikely to hurt the patients involved, and it may even help them.
Acupuncture infertility treatment produces few or no side effects while performing the same function as medications can: stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and reaching the root cause of both female and male infertility. Also, acupuncture can help with much more than just conception. It can improve symptoms of morning sickness, nausea, aches and pains (such as pain in the lower back), anxiety, preparation for birth, and insomnia.
Would the natural, time-tested alternative treatment used by Eastern cultures be worth a try?