Acupuncture treatment for infertility
Acupuncture shows great results both in man and women. Acupuncture can be considered as successful treatment in restoring fertility in the patients, by improving the sperm quality and ovaries function and balancing the endocrine system and hormones
Female reproductive hormones need to be carefully balanced for optimal fertility. One such hormone is Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). As its name suggests, FSH is necessary for ovarian follicles to grow and mature.
If FSH is high, the brain has to work extra hard to grow ovarian follicles and eggs. In natural conception cycles, high FSH could mean that a woman is transitioning into a perimenopausal stage. A very high FSH could mean that the ovaries have stopped working. In assisted fertility treatments, women who have raised FSH levels do not respond well to ovarian stimulation medication and produce fewer eggs. In extreme cases, they may not produce any eggs.
A recent major review of research concluded that acupuncture positively alters how reproductive hormones are secreted. This is likely to help women respond better to ovarian stimulation medication or natural stimulation by the brain.
Ovarian follicles and their eggs grow in response to hormones and nutrients delivered via the ovarian blood supply. Efficient blood flow is associated with higher quality eggs. If blood flow is compromised, the follicles and the eggs within them will be starved of nutrients and oxygen, and this could lead to fewer good quality eggs during assisted fertility treatments.
Several research studies have found that one of the benefits of acupuncture is that it increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries by relaxing the walls of blood vessels.
Up to 40% of infertility cases are at least in part caused by poor male fertility. Some people working in fertility medicine believe that, so long as men have some sperm, IVF will overcome male factor infertility, particularly if a specialist fertilisation technique called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used. In the ICSI technique, a single sperm is injected into an egg. However, ICSI pregnancy rates are virtually the same as with conventional IVF treatment (33 vs. 32.4%).
One of the possible explanations why IVF/ICSI does not overcome all male fertility issues is because it cannot alter the quality of sperm; it only attempts to select the ‘best looking’ sperm and then inject it into the egg.
As the embryo is made of 50% mother’s and 50% father’s DNA, if the quality of the sperm is poor, it is likely that the resulting embryo quality will also be poor, and the embryo will not implant.
Preliminary research investigating the effects of acupuncture on male fertility has found that acupuncture can positively influence sperm parameters, including sperm concentration, motility, vitality and count. There is also some evidence that acupuncture treatment of male partners increases IVF fertilisation rates, thus potentially providing couples with more embryos.
Acupuncture may also possibly regulate testosterone levels based on the findings of some researchers. It is extremely important that a male partner has the optimal level of testosterone in their body in order to have adequate sperm production.
A growing body of evidence suggests that acupuncture increases embryo implantation rates. For example, in one recent study, it was found that acupuncture significantly improved clinical pregnancy rates in patients with a history of two or more failed IVF cycles.
Embryo implantation is dependent on many factors, including good blood supply to the uterus. Research shows that good blood supply to the uterus just before egg retrieval is associated with improved IVF conception rates. As previously mentioned, acupuncture can successfully increase the blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Implantation is also dependent on a normally functioning immune system. In some cases, problems with the immune system stop the embryo from implanting. A considerable body of human and animal research shows that acupuncture helps to regulate immune function.
How long does acupuncture take to work for fertility?
Fertility issues affect a lot more people than we realise, and can affect both men and women for a variety of reasons.
Ovulatory disorders, tube damage, uterine or peritoneal disorders account for some of the most common causes.
That being said, 25 per cent of fertility issues are unexplained, and factors such as weight, stress, age, and lifestyle choices can all play a part.
What part can acupuncture play in boosting
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach when aiming to boost fertility.
It is generally a safer, gentler and often therapeutic way to resolve fertility issues.
The impact of stress on a person’s physical and mental health is well documented, with many people regularly experiencing headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and other health problems.
It is stress-induced issues such as these that can prevent women from ovulating and cause men to experience a lower sperm count and poor sperm mobility.
Acupuncture point for Fertility
CV-2 -Location The curved bone acupuncture point is located in the center of the pubic bone.
CV-5 -Location The ‘stone gate’ point is located approximately three inches above the pubic bone.
ST-30 –Location The surging Qi point is located on the inner part of the groin.
KD-13-Location This point is located along the kidney meridian
Yin Tang – This point is located in between the eyebrows at the ‘third eye’ location. It is a very useful point for stress, anxiety and insomnia. If you also need help focusing, it’s a great point to stimulate for this as well.
Liver 3 – This point is located on the dorsum of the foot (top side), in the webbing between the first and second toe. This point helps
regulate the menstrual cycle, benefits the ovaries and uterus, helps build the blood, and also helps with headaches, stress/anxiety, and insomnia.
Stomach 36 – This point is located below the kneecap, about one fingerbreadth lateral to the boney edge of your lower leg bone (tibia). This is a wonderful point to build your vital life force (qi) and your blood
Kidney 9 – This point is called the ‘beautiful baby’ point and is said that when it is used it will help produce a beautiful baby. The location is on the lower part of the inner leg, about a third of the way between the inner ankle and inner knee.
Ren 12 – This point is located on the upper abdomen midline, about a hands-widths length above the belly button. The Ren channel, also called the Conception channel
Spleen 6 – This point is located on the inner part of the lower leg, about four finger-widths above the inner ankle. This is a widely used point for regulating the menstrual cycle and boosting fertility. It also benefits the uterus and ovaries