Infertility can affect one in every ten couples of reproductive age and many more couples are looking for ways to help them increase their fertility. Infertility is defined as no conception within one year of unprotected sex. In many cases, it is the women who are seeking out help for fertility but it is important to realize that men have an equal part to play in the ability to conceive successfully. Studies show that two in every five infertile couples are due to male factors, another two due to female factors and the remaining one due to unknown factors.
Can Acupuncture Help You Conceive?
It’s important to be upfront that there are no special combinations of acupuncture points that can automatically make someone pregnant. If you decide to use acupuncture to help you conceive, it’s important to keep in mind that it can only play a supportive role. It’s important to consider some other factors that might be affecting your fertility as well, such as:
- Timing: be sure that you are tracking your menstrual cycle to understand when ovulation is occurring, which determines your fertile window.
- Age: women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a higher chance of getting pregnant more easily.
- Lifestyle: quitting smoking, drinking alcohol and recreational drugs, reducing caffeine intake, and eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet will all have beneficial effects on fertility rates of both men and women.
- Medical: checking in with your doctor every year for any medical issues that might interfere with pregnancy.
- Weight: maintaining a healthy weight will help you support fertility in men and women. Both over and under weight women can struggle with conceiving and overweight men are prone to reduced sperm quality and erectile issues.
Acupuncture for fertility is mainly used to help promote the opposite to a flight or fight stress response. It is known as rest and digest response because this state is important for regulating your digestion, sleep, recovery and relaxation. There are traditional acupuncture points that have been indicated to support fertility because they promote circulation to the reproductive organs.
Some women decide to undergo acupuncture treatments before, during or after IVF cycles. This is because the process can be quite stressful, so the use of acupuncture does not change much as it is focused on offsetting stress and also promoting overall health.
After conception, acupuncture for pregnancy is also common for helping manage things like pain, morning sickness, fatigue or other issues that might come up. Eventually, at the end of the pregnancy, acupuncture is also used to help assist natural labour and birth.