Source : mindbodygreen.com
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to enhance fertility. The practice of placing thin sterilized needles in specific acupuncture points, typically in combination with customized herbal formulas, targeted nutrition, and lifestyle modifications, has long been believed to treat some of the causes of infertility.
While acupuncture is still used to help couples conceive naturally, studies now show it can also be helpful during assisted reproductive technology cycles like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Using acupuncture in conjunction with modern fertility treatments combines the best of Eastern and Western medicine, to work together toward the goal of conception.
Here is some of the science behind how working with an acupuncturist while trying to conceive can help:
1. Promoting ovulation
One of the most common reasons a woman cannot conceive is lack of ovulation (anovulation) or very irregular ovulation. One reason for anovulation is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a collection of systemic factors creating congested ovaries that do not ovulate at all or ovulate very irregularly. PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder and affects as many as 5 million women of reproductive age in the U.S.
Another reason for anovulation is hypothalamic amenorrhea, a technical name for when the brain and ovaries do not communicate and the ovaries are taking a nap. This is what happens when some women rapidly lose weight, are on too restrictive of a diet, or their BMI is too low and their periods stop. In both cases, hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS, studies show acupuncture can help women begin to ovulate regularly. For example, in one study, women with PCOS who received acupuncture treatments for 10 to 13 weeks saw an increase in ovulation frequency, compared to women who only received therapeutic counseling. It is believed this is because acupuncture can stimulate beta-endorphin production, which in turn can stimulate hormones that initiate ovulation and menstruation.
Incorporating targeted nutrition, supplements, and herbs under the guidance of an acupuncturist can be especially helpful for managing the other symptoms associated with these conditions as well, such as acne, insulin resistance, maintaining a healthy BMI, and digestive disorders.