Browse Category: Alternative medicine

The effectiveness of acupuncture for fertility

While many skeptics doubt the validity of the science of acupuncture, the National Institutes of Health in the United States note that many researchers are validating the effectiveness of acupuncture in successfully treating a variety of ailments through research. Possible theories as to why acupuncture works include that it:

Changes in the central nervous system, which alter the regulation of blood pressure and blood flow, and body temperature,
Stimulates the central nervous system to cause neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones to be released, which boosts the body’s natural ability to heal itself,
Stimulates endorphin release, which hormone reduces the pain felt in the body.

Acupuncture is contraindicated for patients that present a bleeding disorder or who are on blood thinning medication. However, patients attending acupuncture sessions conducted by professionals experience minimal pain and few side effects.

Acupuncture and Fertility

Acupuncture does not ‘cure’ infertility. It merely enhances overall bodily health, which has the effect of encouraging the conditions necessary for a woman to fall pregnant. And the effect is heightened when combined with herbal medicine.

Acupuncture will encourage better blood circulation in the pelvic area, which will improve ovarian function, including that of the ovarian follicle (the sac in which the eggs are produced). It also improves blood flow in the uterus, which improves uterine lining thickness.

Once overall health has been improved, and if infertility is still a problem, then an intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure may be performed to complement a couple’s effort to fall pregnant.

Acupuncture to induce labor

Once the pregnancy has run to full term (40 weeks), acupuncture may be used to induce labor.

Within certain Asian communities acupuncture has been used for centuries to induce the labor process. Studies have revealed that more than half the women who received acupuncture to induce labor never required additional medication for this, and such women were also less likely to deliver by caesarean section.

Other labor induction methods

Having sex and keeping the semen in the cervix as long as possible after ejaculation (the semen contains natural prostaglandins as does the female’s orgasm, which stimulates the cervix),

Stimulating the nipples,

Administering raspberry leaf as a tablet or infusion,

Labor may be medically induced by the application of prostaglandins hormone, in the form of pills or a cream, finally,

Pitocin, a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contractions may be administered. (It is vital that Pitocin only be given once the cervix is open and ready for labor.)

Baby knows best

The best advice a midwife can give a heavily pregnant mum is: “The baby will come out when the baby is ready to come out.” The baby’s brain develops in the last few weeks of pregnancy, so exercising patience in the last few weeks may be the best action to take.

Finding A Practitioner

Ask friends and relatives if they have ever worked with an acupuncturist in the past. Occasionally, your physician may have acupuncturists that they refer patients to for complimentary treatments, as often this can increase the success rate of IVF & IUI procedures. Or do a search for Cityname Acupuncture, like Tucson acupuncture to find information on the acupuncturists in your area.