Acupuncture for Fertility

​Acupuncture for Fertility

There is a saying: it takes two to tango. When it comes to fertility and experiencing a confirmed pregnancy, there are two factors— female and male fertility factors. In this article, we are are looking at the female component of fertility and how acupuncture can have an impact in reducing the time between trying to conceive and becoming pregnant.

Table of Contents

How Does Acupuncture Help with Female Infertility

Many women begin to make life_style changes when they stop trying to prevent pregnancy and start trying to conceive. Here is a list of five things you can do for life_style changes:

  1. Diet: Eating healthy, and and following a diet for conception

  2. Exercise: Exercising is beneficial before conception and after conception.

  3. Alcohol: Stop drinking alcohol. Eliminating alcohol as a life_style change can be difficult. Try these tips.

  4. Smoking: Stop smoking or any other drugs. Again this can be a difficult life change. These tips may help you as you work at achieving this life_style change.

  5. Talk to your doctor: Talk to your family physician if you take medications for different conditions and what impact the prescriptions you take may influence or impact trying to conceive.

Life_style changes alone can help conception. However, when coupled with acupuncture one study found that acupuncture helps with female fertility in three ways:

  • Awareness: Acupuncture can increase awareness of fertility and women's cycles, making it easier to know when you’re are ovulating.

  • Well Being: Acupuncture can decrease stress and promotes higher level of calmness, which makes getting pregnant easier.

  • Half the time to Conception: Acupuncture is known to lead to pregnancy in half the time.

Men have had success using acupuncture for male fertility too!

28 Acupuncture Treatments to Conception

When beginning your journey to expanding your family, there are many ways acupuncture can help with female infertility factors. There have been many studies about acupuncture and fertility.

For example, one research study followed a 39 year old woman. The woman experienced an obstruction of one of her fallopian-tubes which was the leading cause of her infertility and what was blocking her in their path to trying to conceive. After 28 acupuncture treatments she conceived her a child and was able to carry her child with a successful pregnancy. Essentially, acupuncture helped her realize her dreams of having a child.

The 3 Positive Effects of Acupuncture on Fertility

There are three researched and documented positive effects of acupuncture on female fertility.

  1. Ovulation: Acupuncture helps ovulation by helping to increase blood flow to the ovaries.

  2. Modulating increasing blood flow: Acupuncture aids in stimulating and aiding many systems in the body. Including the metabolism, nervous systems, and the neuroendocrine and endocrine systems.

  3. Stay calm and carry on: Acupuncture helps with a person’s levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Having lower levels of these three conditions help with conception.

6 Female Infertility Statistics

Statistically, female infertility is the inability to have a confirmed pregnancy after trying to conceive naturally over a 12 month span without the use of any birth control. Or women who have been trying to conceive become pregnant but have more than two miscarriages or failed pregnancies.

Here is a list of seven female statistics and statistics that are connected to couples:

  • 15% of couples experience challenges conceiving naturally after 12 months.

  • 10% of couples experience continues challenge conceiving naturally after 24 months.

  • Couples who are under 30 have a 20-37% chance of becoming pregnant successfully within three months.

  • Women between the ages of 15 to 44 years in the United States overall have a 12% chance of experiencing fertility difficulties.

  • ⅓ of fertility cases are because of a female factor.

  • ⅓ of fertility cases are because of male factor.

  • ⅓ of fertility cases are due to unknown and unidentifiable fertility factors.

8 Types of Female Infertility Treated By Acupuncture

  1. Unexplained infertility: Cases of infertility not explainable by testing.

  2. Recurrent miscarriage: Experiencing miscarriages three or more times in a row.

  3. Amenorrhea: Not having a period is often caused by pregnancy. However if you are trying to get pregnant and have missed a period without a confirmed pregnancy test, amenorrhea most likely is the cause.

  4. Irregular menstrual cycle: Monthly cycles that are not predictable make know when a one is ovulating a challenge.

  5. Poor egg quality: Having low egg quality low quality embryos.

  6. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A condition identified as a hormonal imbalance. It causes a woman’s ovaries to become enlarged and on the outer edges of the ovaries a woman may have cysts growing.

  7. Endometriosis: A condition where in place of tissue growing on the inside of the uterus, it grows on the outside.

  8. In Vitro Fertilization: The process placing an embryo into the uterus. The embryo is created with the assistance and help of a laboratory. A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.

4 Female Infertility Conditions not Treated by Acupuncture

While there are many infertility issues that can be helped by acupuncture, here are four that cannot be treated:

  • Polyps: Atypical tissue growth.

  • Blocked tube: A blocked tube cannot be assisted through acupuncture

  • Uterine infections: A UTI needs to be treated by prescriptions provided by a OB or physician.

  • Structural issues: Some women experience a uterus that is tilted or other reproductive organ structural differences can be a challenge in achieving a confirmed pregnancy.

10 Female Fertility Acupuncture Points

There are ten acupuncture points for female fertility. They are:

  1. EX-CA1

  2. M-CA-23

  3. SP6

  4. CV6

  5. CV4

  6. CV3

  7. CV12

  8. SP10

  9. ST36

  10. LR3

4 Times to Avoid Acupuncture for Female Infertility Treatment

There are four times in the infertility treatment process that acupuncture points for women need to be avoided:

  1. Insemination: Natural or assisted insemination of sperm.

  2. Transfer: Embryo transferred using assisted technology.

  3. IVF: The full process of In vitro fertilization.

  4. Pregnancy: A confirmed or possible pregnancy suspected.

During these four times that acupuncture for infertility should be avoided, you can still receive acupuncture for other conditions such as a cold, migraines, PTSD, anxiety, or other common issues.

With success in treatment, and a confirmed pregnancy, it is important to know that the benefits of acupuncture can follow you on your journey through pregnancy. There are many ways acupuncture can help alleviate pregnancy symptoms and even help you through labor and delivery.

Now that we know when to avoid acupuncture during infertility treatment, lets find out exactly which acupuncture points need to be avoided. . .

7 Infertility Acupuncture Points for Women Need to Avoid

There are six infertility acupuncture points for women that need to avoided . They are all located in the abdominal and pelvic areas and should be avoided if there is a possibility of pregnancy or pregnancy is confirmed.

The seven contraindicated acupuncture points which should be avoided are:

  1. Gallbladder 21

  2. Stomach 12

  3. Large Intestine 4

  4. Spleen 6

  5. Bladder 60

  6. Bladder 67

  7. Lower abdomen - All acupuncture points in the area.

Find an Acupuncturist near you

There are hundreds of talented Acupuncturists on DaoCloud:

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References

Cochrane, S., Smith, C. A., Possamai-Inesedy, A., & Bensoussan, A. (2016). Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women's Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4868913/

How common is male infertility, and what are its causes? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/menshealth/conditioninfo/infertility#f7

Huang, D. M., Huang, G. Y., Lu, F. E., Stefan, D., Andreas, N., & Robert, G. (2011, May). Acupuncture for infertility: Is it an effective therapy? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21611904

Reproductive Health. (2018, April 18). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.htm

Wang, J. X., Yang, Y., Song, Y., & Ma, L. X. (2018, April 01). Positive Effect of Acupuncture and Cupping in Infertility Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29682150