When you’re having problems conceiving, you’re willing to try anything–even having someone stick needles all over your body. Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that uses needles and, sometimes, electricity to rid your body of energy blockages. It’s a way of treating your body as a whole rather than treating just the symptoms of your problem.
Through your body, energy–known as “chi” or “qi” in Traditional Chinese Medicine–attempts to flow freely, but occasionally, there are energy blockages. Women with fertility issues may have special problems with the liver or kidney regions, even though these issues wouldn’t be detected by Western medicine. An acupuncturist places needles in certain points of the body to free up this energy. Men with fertility issues may also benefit from acupuncture.
For acupuncture to work, you must visit your acupuncturist on a regular basis. Women will need to visit once a week, as there are different points that he will focus on during each stage of her cycle. If combining with Western fertility treatments, such as IVF, you are still advised to visit your acupuncturist throughout the entire process. It could take a few months for you to become pregnant. Men who are using acupuncture to treat fertility issues may need to make regular visits for several months, as it takes 70 days to create new sperm.
Acupuncture is not effective in treating fertility issues that are caused by adhesions in the fallopian tubes or uterus, such as those you’d have if you have endometriosis. It works best for regulating your cycle and treating fertility issues that Western medicine cannot yet diagnose.
The Berkeley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggests that women with fertility problems will find the most success when combining acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Western fertility interventions, such as in vitro fertilization or drugs that stimulate ovulation.
There are certain acupuncture points that your practitioner should not use after ovulation, since they could cause miscarriage if you are indeed pregnant. These include points on the lower abdomen, Bladder 60 and Stomach 12, along with several others. Only visit a qualified acupuncturist for best results.
- Akupunkturnadeln image by M.R. from Fotolia.com