Can Acupuncture Improve Fertility?
Acupuncture for infertility has recently gained popularity in assisting couples who are undergoing assisted reproduction, such as IVF as well as naturally trying to conceive. There have been numerous clinical studies for acupuncture to promote fertility. A few of these clinical studies can be seen by clicking on the link below to the British Acupuncture Council Website: Female Fertility
Our acupuncture practitioners have an understanding of orthodox medicine techniques for assisted reproduction as well as an in depth knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They work as part of a team. They extensively study all aspects of fertility and are very experienced acupuncturists who have in depth knowledge of this subject.
They are currently helping ladies to regulate their menstrual cycles in preparation for assisted reproduction. Regulating a cycle can take time, and each case has an individual treatment plan.
Regulating your menstrual cycle can take between 3 and 6 monthly cycles before you begin to see any changes. The practitioners are aiming to help regulate your reproductive hormones and promote a healthy blood flow to the uterus and ovaries cycle.
Any medical issues including fertility related medical conditions are also taken into account as part of the treatment process. We actively encourage you to seek medical tests to check your reproductive hormones. Other medical factors should also be investigated as they may have an impact on your health.
We do not discourage the use of conventional medicine. We support you through any fertility treatments such as IVF.
What is not widely known, and in addition to our practitioners supporting you with acupuncture treatments is that we can also support you regarding diet and nutrition. We also look at your stress and anxiety levels as this can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical status. Stress and anxiety plays a vital role which in turn impacts on fertility.
At our Riverside Acupuncture Clinic we have seen that waiting this length of time can create increased stress and anxiety. You can feel very isolated thinking that you are unable to get pregnant when there are many others like you who are living through the same isolation. Many women have discussed with us how frustrating and upsetting it is to see many of their friends and work colleagues discontinuing their contraception and falling pregnant straight away. They ask us why this not happening for them and there can be many reasons.
Treatments such as hypnotherapy, reflexology and relaxing massages can help to reduce physical and emotional stress.
Does My Diet Impact My Fertility?
What you eat plays a vital role in your health as well as fertility. Foods should be consumed that do not overstimulate the body or cause it to use up too much energy. Foods such as carbohydrates, coffee, alcohol and sugary foods should be consumed less often.
Consuming foods that build and provide deep and subtle nourishment that replenish the core are encouraged. Examples of these foods are nuts, seeds, beans, sweet potato, spinach and kidney beans. The body also needs support and energy from food which should be steadily released over a period of time. Foods such as fresh and organic produce that has been slow cooked can provide a sustainable source of energy. Examples of these foods are chicken, coconut, chickpeas and lentils.
Food supplements can be added to enhance the effects of the foods; wheatgrass and spirulina are common examples and are useful to tonify blood, particularly if the menstrual cycle is light and irregular and can be added daily to your diet.
Leggett, D. Helping Ourselves; A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics. (2014) Devon. Meridian Press. Second Edition.
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Some may dispute that acupuncture and all of the other factors such as diet, lifestyle and supplements are just placebo and that they have little to do with the fact that some ladies will be able to conceive whereas others cannot. Our acupuncture practitioners are knowledgeable and experienced in treating infertility.
All we can say is that we have seen ladies who have been trying in many cases for a number of months and even years. Some have used IVF and some have used other methods. When they have accessed acupuncture and the additional support we have provided, a large number of our ladies have managed to conceive. More importantly they have taken the pregnancy to term.
If you are looking into acupuncture for infertility please research an acupuncture practitioner carefully. Fertility has become very popular and you need to ensure that the practitioner is experienced and trained in this field.
Acupuncturists at The Riverside have undertaken degree training into TCM and acupuncture and they are regulated by the British Acupuncture Council to ensure they are practicing to the highest standard.
Can the Long term Use of Contraception Affect Fertility?
There have been numerous clinical studies over the years that claim, long term use of contraception does not affect a woman’s ability to conceive. However, in recent years there have been a lot of reports in the media from more recent studies discussing this claim. An example is shown in this link. Pill could harm future fertility
Many clinical studies have mostly shown that the effects of contraception can be reversible after contraceptives have ceased, particularly the short-term effects. However, the long-term effects of newer types of contraception such as transdermal patches and hormonal implants needs to be further researched (Jain & Ressler, 2010).
We at the Riverside Natural Health Centre are not disputing these claims. Recently we are seeing an increase in ladies in their twenties and thirties who after having stopped long-term contraception found that their menstrual cycle has not returned. We’ve found that some ladies cycle is considerably lighter than it was prior to contraception. This finding could be impacting on their ability to conceive. Whilst there are other clinical factors that may impair fertility such as smoking, being overweight, lifestyle and alcohol, a more rounded view of fertility should be viewed. This link gives a brief and easier to understand insight into why this may occur. Top 5 Ways the Birth Control Pill Negatively Impacts Long-Term Fertility. Jain, T. and Ressler, I. (2010) Reversible Contraception; Does is affect future fertility?. Contempory OB/GYN. Modern Medicine Now.
NHS guidelines advise that if you are under 35 years of age and have been actively trying to get pregnant for over a year then you can seek advice. If you are over 35 years, then this time period is six months.
For more information about Acupuncture for Infertility. Please contact the Riverside Natural Health Centre