Fertility & Birth

IVF acupuncture, pregnancy acupuncture and fertility acupuncture in Huddersfield.

Please visit the conditions page and click on links to the British Acupuncture Council website to read more about how acupuncture can help with fertility IVF and pregnancy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can treat a wide range of health concerns and has been used effectively throughout the world in treating many women’s health conditions. TCM can also be used as a preventative treatment to help maintain optimum health.
Acupuncture has a long standing reputation for it's effectiveness in treating all kinds of menstrual problems, ranging from PMT though to helping to turn a breech baby.

Acupuncture and IVF - The success rates for IVF conception to occur are usually between 20-30% depending on the clinic. In several recent studies in Germany, a 26% success rate was achieved for women receiving no acupuncture, while a 43% success rate was achieved by those receiving acupuncture.

Acupuncture for fertility

Fertility focused acupuncture treatment has been found to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, balance hormone levels, regulate the menstrual cycle and help improve the lining of the uterus and quality of eggs released. Additionally, conditions such as polycystic ovaries and endometriosis have also been shown to improve with this sort of treatment. Benefits to male fertility have also been found with positive effects on sperm count, morphology and mobility. As trying to conceive can often be a stressful experience, many find that undergoing a course of acupuncture reduces associated problems such as anxiety, stress and insomnia and helps to improve the chances of pregnancy by improving well being in general.

How Does Acupuncture Affect Fertility?

Many studies have shown promising data that acupuncture affects the menstrual cycle by having a neuroendocrine affect on the body. This means that the different combinations of acupuncture points play a role in the release of the hormones responsible for regulating our cycle. Specifically the research has shown that different protocols of acupuncture treatment can:

  1. Balance reproductive hormones by increasing the body’s endorphin levels which eliminates the interference of stress hormones such as cortisol

    So far, scientists conclude that one of the obvious ways acupuncture treats infertility is by reducing stress. When we are under intense, long-term stressful situations, the human body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is released in the brain altering the brain’s neurochemical balance which disrupts the pituitary gland and thereby changes the level of sex hormones in the body. Because of the delicate balance between the
    hypothalamus, pituitary and reproductive organs/glands, this is why stress is able to prevent a woman from ovulating entirely. Stress can also cause spasms in the fallopian tubes and the uterus which can disrupt implantation. Acupuncture counters the effects of stress and cortisol by causing the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins exert a powerful calming effect on the entire body and this also explains why acupuncture is so relaxing.

  2. Increase blood flow to the reproductive organs to promote follicle production and egg & endometrial health

    Special acupuncture point combinations and techniques have been shown to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. Healthy blood that is supported by a healthy diet will provide the ovaries and uterus with more nourishment. The increase in healthy blood flow can increase follicle and egg health and also encourage the lining of the uterus to make a more hospitable environment for an embryo to implant and grow. Using specific
    acupuncture treatments to increase blood flow to the ovaries in addition to gonadotropin therapy is thought to be responsible for an increase in number of follicles and more importantly the quality of the eggs and subsequent embryos. This is especially true for women who have a poor prognosis either because of age or previously failed cycles.

  3. Strengthen the immune system to prevent immunological complications and decrease inflammation

    Strengthening the immune system can play a very important role in conception. The endorphins that are released by the brain during acupuncture can raise the amount of white blood cells, T-cells and antibodies in the body thereby increasing the body’s level of immunity. This becomes important when there are immunological causes for fertility or failed implantation issues. An overactive immune system can also cause unwanted
    inflammation in the reproductive organs. This is particularly true for women with endometriosis. There are many benefits to using acupuncture as well as diet therapy and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids which can effectively reduce an inflammatory immune response.

  4. Enhance the effectiveness of IVF medications and reduce side effects

    When couples begin with good quality eggs, sperm and endometrial lining – the chances of an assisted reproductive therapy working are increased dramatically. Aside from how age affects egg quality, there is a lot to be said for how diet, lifestyle factors and overall health play an important role in the body’s ability to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. When a couple prepares ahead of time by maximizing on their inherent fertility,
    they can proceed with assisted reproductive therapies with the assurance that they have the best chances to succeed. IVF medications can do much more with eggs that are already being nourished with nutrient-rich blood in a hormonally balanced environment and lead you toward healthy embryos. Acupuncture can also help reduce the side effects some women experience from the medications and the stress of the IVF experience. By
    promoting balance, women tend not to feel such dramatic emotional swings when doing acupuncture. It also addresses the feelings of discomfort in the abdomen, constipation, hot flashes and headaches women can get during the cycle.

  5. Improve sperm count, motility and morphology

    In men, the effects of acupuncture on infertility symptoms may be part of a systemic affect on the whole body. As the acupuncture promotes positive health, a significant improvement in the number and quality of sperm is a natural part of this positive health change. Two studies, one published in the medical journal, Archives of Andrology, in Sept.- Oct. 1997 and the other published in Andrologia in January 2000, documented research on
    infertile males suffering from low sperm quality. The study showed a significant improvement in total functional sperm, the percentage of sperm viability, and the total motile spermatozoa per ejaculate. These results were obtained by taking sperm samples from the men before and after one month of acupuncture.

In Pregnancy Acupuncture can:

Relieve nausea & sickness, Increase energy levels & help with tiredness, Help digestive problems, Relieve pain & discomfort, Correct breech position of the baby, prepare mother and baby for labour using prebirth treatment, Induce labour post EDD.

In Childbirth Acupuncture can:

Promote a labour that progresses smoothly, increase the efficiency of contractions, Help the mother cope with labour pains, Calm anxiety and distress & boost energy, Induce delivery of the placenta if necessary, Stop excessive blood loss.

Gentle and safe, Acupuncture can be used throughout pregnancy and even during labour. It is a system of healing that works towards restoring optimal harmony and balance in the body and is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (energy) and blood through distinct pathways (meridians) that cover the body like nerves and blood vessels. Acupuncture stimulates the flow of Qi along these meridians, thus improving general
health and well being. Come and visit us at Gate of Life, Acupuncture Huddersfield for a relaxing treatment to address any of your uncomfortable symptoms

During pregnancy, Acupuncture can be used symptomatically to treat many common conditions. From as early as 6 weeks first trimester it can be used to alleviate morning sickness see NICE guidelines (national institute for clinical excellence) advice about the positive use of acupuncture for morning sickness and for those with a history of recurrent miscarriage or a pregnancy resulting from fertility treatment, it can be used to help strengthen the pregnancy.

As the pregnancy develops, many unpleasant conditions may be experienced. Research has shown Acupuncture to be effective in treating many of these conditions including muscular & skeletal pain (sciatica, backache, rib & symphysis pubis pain), heartburn, haemorrhoids & vulval varicosities, constipation and carpal tunnel syndrome, varicose veins, tiredness and insomnia, itchiness.

In the final stages of pregnancy, acupuncture can play an important role in the preparation of the body for a more efficient labour. This takes the form of Pre-Birth Acupuncture, which is a course of weekly treatments from week 37 of pregnancy. Points are used to prepare the pelvis & cervix, thus preparing the body for an efficient labour. Other points can also be added to address any specific symptoms that you may be experiencing such as heartburn. Pre-Birth acupuncture is commonly used by midwives in New Zealand and Germany and their reports show a more efficient active stage of labour, as measured by reduced labour time and a reduced need for medical intervention. Research also shows that acupuncture can safely induce labour and that moxibustion, ideally in weeks 34-35, can correct breech position.

Post natally acupuncture can again help to balance the body and is useful for a variety of problems. Acupuncture can: Promote milk production, reduce after-pains, help with mood swings, alleviate post-natal depression, reduce tiredness, reduce varicose veins, and encourage the healing process.

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Louisa is a fully insured member of the British Acupuncture Council, she holds a BSc Hons degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture, from the University of Westminster. Read more about Louisa...