Acupuncture has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine for the treatment of various ailments. It involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin at specific meridians or channels. By unblocking these channels, acupuncture restores balance to the body.
When conceiving a baby naturally becomes out of reach, more and more women are turning to acupuncture for the treatment of fertility issues. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with, or instead of, in vitro fertilization as a means to get pregnant. Studies show that acupuncture not only helps dissolve stress, which can be a roadblock to pregnancy, but it also improves blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, which encourages ovulation.
Acupuncture Over IVF?
Acupuncture may be the preferred method of treatment over IVF. For one, acupuncture is a natural, drug-free and relatively non-invasive method of treating fertility. Acupuncture has also believed to slow biological aging, thus maintaining the quality of a woman’s eggs. It can even regulate hormones. One of the most compelling reasons for choosing acupuncture over IVF is cost—IVF can cost upwards of $10,000 per session, while acupuncture costs about $80 per session. As an added bonus, acupuncture can improve overall mental health by decreasing anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting energy.
Combining Eastern and Western Modalities
Using acupuncture before and after IVF seems to increase the success of pregnancy. Studies show that both methods of fertility treatment resulted in a 7% higher birth rate, as opposed to those who only went through IVF. The subjects who received acupuncture also had a lower miscarriage rate.
What to Expect
Women typically start acupuncture treatment a few months before trying to get pregnant. The number of sessions you need depends on your particular situation, but treatments typically continue through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Note that needles will not be inserted into the pelvic or abdominal area as that could increase the risk of miscarriage. Acupuncture comes with minimal risks, but may include faint bruising or discomfort when the needles are inserted.
Whether you are hoping to conceive a baby soon or you’ve explored other avenues with no success, acupuncture can help increase your chances naturally. As a safe, effective, and low-cost treatment for infertility with acupuncture you’ll experience few side effects—and hopefully a joyful surprise!