Acupuncture has supported fertility goals for thousands of years, but there is no single way it works. Rather, acupuncture for fertility buoys conception, pregnancy, and fertility treatments in multiple ways.
Acupuncture uses special needles to activate specific pressure points and meridians throughout the body. Different points affect different physiologic systems or body chemistry, providing various benefits.
The team at Fertility Solutions shares a whole-body and whole-lifestyle approach to fertility and fertility treatment success, which is why we strive to inform patients about the importance of diet, weight management, exercise, and other proven lifestyle choices to improve fertility treatment success rates.
Acupuncture is one more tool in the fertility treatment tool kit and can positively impact your fertility journey in five different ways:
Multiple studies have shown acupuncture improves IVF outcomes. One of the reasons it does this is through hormone regulation. Having acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist with specific fertility training can help regulate pregnancy hormones and keep them at healthy levels, promoting embryo implantation and reducing miscarriage rates.
Studies have also shown that acupuncture specifically targeted to increase blood flow to the uterus increased fertility rates in women who’d had previous IVF cycle failures despite using high-quality embryos. This study concluded, “warming acupuncture enhances uterine blood perfusion and improves uterine endometrial receptivity so that the clinical pregnancy rate is increased…”
Acupuncture is often recommended within the first 30-minutes to an hour after IVF embryo transfer. The same relaxation benefits associated with acupuncture are proven to minimize uterine spasms and cramping. This is also one of the reasons acupuncture is so effective at reducing painful cramping and pelvic discomfort for women with endometriosis.
The idea that nervous stress affected fertility was considered anecdotal and a bit of a myth until we understood the body’s stress chemistry cycle, and its negative impact on inflammation, hormone balance, and fertility. Several studies have shown that women with elevated stress hormones do seem to take longer to get pregnant and have higher infertility rates.
As a result, we advocate stress management as part of your fertility plan. In addition to potentially increasing fertility rates, stress management benefits immune system function, sleep habits, and fertility weight goals – all of which optimize fertility.
Often stress and sleep issues go hand in hand. And healthy sleep habits also correlate with better fertility treatment outcomes. So, it’s no surprise that anything you can do to promote relaxation tends to help you sleep better at night. In addition, routine sleep habits are important for women trying to conceive because getting seven to nine hours of solid sleep each night is essential for healthy hormone balance, regulating blood sugar levels, and healthy immune system function.
If you have trouble getting and staying asleep at night, make “sleep hygiene” a priority. Acupuncture is a great first step. There are countless studies (including double-blind studies and meta-analyses) showing acupuncture is more effective at improving sleep habits, sleep efficiency, length of solid sleep, and daytime function than medications or placebos.
Are you interested in learning more about how acupuncture helps during fertility treatments? Schedule a consultation with Fertility Solutions. We 100% support the use of acupuncture with all fertility treatment options, whether you’re trying to get pregnant at home using Clomid and timed intercourse or pursuing IUI or IVF treatments. In addition, we can refer you to some of the best fertility acupuncturists in Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding areas.