You may be asking yourself, how does someone sticking pins and needles into my body relate to me conceiving ? According to some people, plenty !
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which dates back thousands of years, and is a therapy that promotes restoring natural energies to resolve “kinks” in your system. To really understand the correlation between acupuncture and improved fertility, I will explain a few basic terms.
Qi is the flow of life’s energy through the body.
Meridians are the body’s natural energy pathways, and qi flows along these meridians and corresponds to your body’s major system’s and organs.
Acupuncturists attempt to improve your body’s vitality by placing needles along various meridians. The needles are very small, and other than a slight prickly sensation, causes no pain when being inserted.
In recent years, acupuncture has become a very popular method for couples seeking complementary and alternative medicine to improve fertility. Whether you are embarking upon IUI or IVF, or are trying to conceive naturally, acupuncture has been shown to improve such critical factors as egg quality, increased or thickened uterine wall lining and even improved blood flow to the uterus, all of these important for a healthy fertilization, implantation as well as full term pregnancy. For those who are experiencing male factor infertility, acupuncture has also been shown to improve sperm counts and or sperm motility.
A quick google search can help you find trained and licensed acupuncturists in your area. I highly recommend that you seek referrals from friends and family members, as well as by asking your reproductive endocrinologist (RE) for a trusted acupuncturist. I will emphasize the importance of partnering with your RE and to be open and transparent about your fertility goals if you feel that acupuncture is the way to go.
Once you have found an acupuncturist, and you are ready for your consultation session, you will undergo a very thorough and complete medical history prior to starting treatment. Acupuncturists ask lots of questions, and he or she will take your pulse as well as evaluate your tongue. By doing these steps, acupuncturists diagnose the energy stagnation in your body and can then tailor a proper treatment plan, which may or may not include herbal medicine.
There are some REs who do not agree with the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine, but in the end, you as the patient must be open about what you desire and what you want to achieve. Be ready to have the conversation about next steps if your RE does not support your desire to see an acupuncturist.
For many couples who are just starting on this journey or are at the point where they have exhausted other options to conceive and support a healthy pregnancy, acupuncture can be an amazing experience.
In my next blog post, I’ll share my own personal experience with acupuncture and herbal medicine as part of our fertility journey, so stay tuned for Part 2 in a few weeks ! Until then, all my love and support to you !