Acupuncture has been gaining popularity in recent years as an aid to reproductive health. It can be used alone or, as seen more commonly, as an adjunct to Western medicine. Acupuncture can be used to enhance fertility by balancing hormones, improving egg and sperm quality, reducing stress and aiding general well-being.
Acupuncture is a holistic medicine, and as such, the acupuncturist will help both partners identify aspects of lifestyle and general health to aid their chances of conceiving. The female reproductive system is seen as a network of energy systems with related organs, metabolic and hormonal activity. This network can easily get out of balance. Treatment aims to help you create the correct biological and emotional environment for increased success with fertility and pregnancy. Diet, lifestyle and emotional factors, among others, which might be influencing fertility, will be addressed.
Acupuncture has also proven beneficial in helping women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a fertility-related condition affecting 3% of all adolescent and adult women.
In the 4-6 weeks before IVF begins, acupuncture treatment prepares women to be in the best possible health by balancing hormones, resolving anxiety, improving sleep, and encouraging blood flow to the womb lining. Once you begin your assisted cycle acupuncture offers support by working alongside your medical treatment to compliment its effects and reduce side-effects as well as improving relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. Treatment on the day of egg transfer can be arranged at either Clinica Fertia in Fuengirola or CERAM in Marbella.
The IVF support treatment is based on protocols used in clinical trials which demonstrate increased blood supply to the uterus and ovaries and regulation of hormones which may be important to follicle development and implantation.
A German trial of 160 women found that those subjects receiving In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) complemented by acupuncture had far better results conceiving than those receiving IVF alone.
Dr. Raymond Chang of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, believes that acupuncture, being nontoxic and inexpensive as compared with other fertility treatments, has great promise as an alternative or complementary form of treatment. Scientists and physicians at the center have called for a definitive study on the use of acupuncture as a treatment for infertility, citing sundry promising benefits, including the following:
increased uterine blood flow (and therefore thickness of the uterine walls)
increased production of endorphins (responsible for the release of a hormone involved in regulating reproduction);
plasma levels of key fertility hormones;
normalization of hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovarian glands;