Frequently asked questions about acupuncture for infertility
Here is a list of questions I am frequently asked about having acupuncture for infertility treatment. If you have a question that isn't listed here, schedule a free chat with me.
- How does acupuncture help male and female fertility?
- How long does acupuncture take to get you pregnant?
- How often should I have acupuncture for infertility?
- How should I have acupuncture in my menstrual cycle?
- How should I have acupuncture during IVF?
- How can I increase my fertility?
- Can acupuncture help with male infertility?
- Can acupuncture help with PCOS?
- Is acupuncture safe in pregnancy?
- Are Chinese herbs safe for fertility?
- Are Chinese herbs safe during pregnancy?
- What are the early signs of pregnancy?
- Are there any proven benefits of acupuncture for male and female fertility?
- Can acupuncture reduce pain in labour?
- How can I increase my AMH levels?
- How can I increase my low sperm count?
- How can I increase my testosterone levels?
How acupuncture improves male and female fertility
It can with a variety of different male and female infertility problems. In women, it can help their infertility by regulating their menstrual cycle, reducing stress and anxiety, which can affect the menstrual cycle and levels of energy needed to sustain fertility.
Acupuncture helps female infertility by improving the implantation of the embryo into the uterus wall, regulates follicle stimulating hormone that tells the ovaries to grow eggs, regulates Anti Mullerian hormone, which aids the eggs, regulates fertility hormones such as oestrogen levels and regulates immune factors which are important for the successful implantation of the embryo into the uterus wall.
In men, my treatment can help male infertility by improving sperm quality, motility (the way it moves) and morphology (it's make up).
When the baby has arrived, I can help improve breast milk levels, treat baby-blues and back ache from carrying the baby.
How long does acupuncture take to get you pregnant
It takes around 1-3 months for acupuncture to help a woman get pregnant naturally.
Natural conception can take place quicker if the man and woman make changes to their lifestyle and diet.
Acupuncture treatment can be quickened by taking Chinese fertility herbs.
During your acupuncture treatment, you will notice a gradual improvement in your menstrual cycle, for example a reduction in premenstrual cramp and menstrual pain, a better, fuller flow of blood that is red and with no clots. Acupuncture can also reduce levels of stress and anxiety.
The frequency of acupuncture treatment for infertility
Acupuncture is a dose like every other treatment. Its affects last for around 3-4 days then need to be repeated. The best treatment option is to have acupuncture twice a week for maximum effect. However, due to financial limitations, most people will have acupuncture treatment once a week.
Having acupuncture treatment less frequently than once a week is not advisable as its effects will be minimal and it will have little benefit.
Having treatment from a fertility specialist such as myself will reduce anxiety and stress levels, regulate fertility hormones, boost energy and blood levels, increase blood flow to the uterus, improve implantation and pregnancy rates as well as reduce the chances of having a miscarriage.
When to have acupuncture in the menstrual cycle
A lot of my patients ask me when is it beneficial to have acupuncture in their menstrual cycle. There is growing research that demonstrates acupuncture can regulate a woman's menstruation and reduce premenstrual symptoms thereby improving their fertility.
It is beneficial to have accupuncture during most parts of the menstrual cycle as it aids qi and blood. By regulating qi flow it helps to regulate hormones in the body and improve menstrual health thereby creating regular cycles.
Acupuncture is a medical treatment and can remove premenstrual symptoms (PMS), stomach cramps, tender breasts, menstrual pain, headaches and more.
Phases of the menstrual cycle
The are 4 phases of the menstrual cycle:
- Menstrual phase (days 1-7)
- Follicular phase (days 8-14)
- Ovulation (day 15)
- Luteal phase (days 16-29)
When to have acupuncture treatment
You can have acupuncture during any part of your menstrual cycle, as it can help with different aspects during the month.
From around day 4-5 of your cycle, when fertility hormones (FSH) start to rise, having acupuncture can help with egg growth and maturation.
During the ovulation phase, acupuncture can help maturation of the egg and aid blood flow to the uterus lining.
In the second part of your menstrual cycle (luteal phase), after you have ovulated, acupuncture can help with the anxiety and emotional stress of wondering if you are pregnant or not and aid implantation of the embryo into the uterus lining.
It's not necessary to have acupuncture during your menstrual bleed as your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels are still low and you maybe more sensitive to the acupuncture needles.
When to have acupuncture during IVF
Acupuncture has been shown in research to normalise hormone levels, reduce stress and anxiety. Acupuncture increased blood flow to the uterus and can aid with implantation of the embryo into the uterus wall and increase success rates of IVF. It can also reduce the chances of having a miscarriage.
Clinical trials have proven the effectiveness of acupuncture during IVF. Those that received acupuncture when compared to the control group had an increase in live births.
Before your IVF cycle
Based on new research it is best to have acupuncture treatment at least 9 times before your embryo transfer. It's been shown to improve pregnancy rates in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) fertility treatment. Some fertility clinics recommend having acupuncture during IVF treatment.
You can have acupuncture once a week leading up to your embryo transfer, so 9 weeks before transfer. During this time you can also optimise your lifestyle and diet to further improve your live birth rate.
Start of IVF
Once your IVF cycle starts, if you are having a long IVF cycle, where you are down-regulated, it's best to have acupuncture weekly until you start ovarian stimulation.
When you start taking fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to grow lots of eggs, it's ideal to have acupuncture twice a week until embryo transfer.
During embryo transfer
When you have your embryo transferred back into your uterus, it is ideal to have acupuncture just before and after the transfer, ideally on the day of the transfer. Sometimes, due to logistics this isn't possible. In such cases, it's okay to have acupuncture the day before and the day after the embryo transfer.
During the two week wait
Once you've had your embryo transferred, I would recommend having 2 sessions of acupuncture before you take your pregnancy test. This helps with implantation, blood flow to the uterus and reduces stress and anxiety.