I have now been in practice for over 14 years and in that time I have seen an increase in the number of women and couples seeking acupuncture to assist with IVF or as a means of aiding natural fertility. Traditional Acupuncture can have many uses in this context, including the promotion of blood circulation, improving blood flow to the uterus and balancing hormones. Research has shown that acupuncture has an effect on the hypothalamus which in turn controls the pituitary. This perhaps goes some way to explain why it appears to have such a balancing effect on hormones. It must also be noted that the stress relieving benefits of acupuncture are of huge importance during IVF or when a couple are trying to conceive naturally.
Menstrual issues such as endometriosis and PCOS are responsive to acupuncture and it can be used to help in the management of these conditions, particularly where there is irregularity in the cycle and pain. Often the orthodox treatment relies on medication such as the contraceptive pill, acupuncture offers a safe and effective alternative to such measures, where appropriate.
During a consultation I will take a full medical history, paying close attention to the nature of your periods, including length, blood flow, pain levels, symptoms, any blood tests or investigations you may have had and also a general inquiry into your overall health. If you have test results and scan details it is worth bringing these along if you can.
Acupuncture for fertility is certainly not a quick fix and there are often lifestyle changes that I encourage couples to try including diets and supplements. I treat every week, or as a minimum at least every two weeks, through at least three menstrual cycles. For IVF support it is a little different, but ideally we start treatment a few weeks before your cycle begins.
I regularly treat both female and male fertility and I'm very happy to answer any questions you might have, please don't hesitate to get in touch.