ACUPUNCTURE & INFERTILITY
When you picture the typical lifestyle of the typical young Australian, what does it look like? They might have a good job, great friends, maybe do some travelling, buy a house…. and have a couple of kids. That’s what most people do, right?
Everywhere you look there are mums and dads out with their kids, and it’s safe to assume that will be you one day. But it can come as quite a shock, and disappointment, when you finally feel ready to have a child of your own, and for some reason it’s not happening. It can be extremely isolating too, as most people don’t want to tell others that they are trying to conceive, so they are forced to suffer in silence. But you may be shocked to learn that infertility, which is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse, affects about 1 in 6 Australian couples. So if you’re struggling to fall pregnant, please know that you are not alone, and that there are steps you can take to do something about it.
What is the Cause of Infertility?
There are many factors that can lead to infertility. In 40% of couples the infertility is attributed to a male factor, in another 40% the cause is found in the female, and in 30% there is a combination of both male and female factors. These factors can be to do with the production of eggs or sperm, the structure or function of the reproductive organs, and/or hormonal and immune conditions.
Those are some pretty bleak sounding statistics and having read through all the possible causes of infertility you’re probably thinking that falling pregnant sounds like an impossible task. But there’s actually a lot you can do to increase your chances of success.
How Can Acupuncture Help with Fertility?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient natural therapy that aims to correct the flow of energy within our bodies in order to restore normal function. The theory is that there are channels of energy that flow within our bodies that control all of our bodily functions. Sometimes this energy becomes blocked due to various factors such as stress, poor diet or physical injury, which causes pain or disease to set in. Acupuncture uses the insertion of needles to tap into these channels to correct or enhance the flow of energy, therefore restoring normal function. It basically uses your own energy to heal itself and gets your body back to working how it should.
In treating fertility issues specifically, Acupuncture may assist in regulating hormones, increasing blood circulation to the uterus to nourish it and build a thick lining, enhancing egg quality, stimulating ovulation, and even helping the embryo to implant and prevent miscarriage. For the male, Acupuncture is a fantastic alternative as there is actually NO western treatment to improve sperm quality. Regular Acupuncture treatments may increase sperm quantity, sperm motility and decrease sperm abnormalities. However, as it takes 3 months from when sperm is produced to when it is released in the ejaculate, I recommend starting treatment at least 3 months prior to starting to try to conceive (or at least, it will be 3 months before you see a difference in your test results).
Acupuncture is also a great complementary treatment when you’re going through IVF, which can be a very stressful and emotional time. Not only can Acupuncture enhance everything that the IVF medications are trying to achieve, it also reduces stress and the side effects of the drugs, which can go a long way to making the whole process a lot more bearable.
To Wrap It Up
At the end of the day, fertility is just one of many indicators of your overall health, so it makes sense to take a holistic approach when it comes to treating it and to look at other health and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your issues. This is what Acupuncture can do for you. Using a holistic view of the body, an individual treatment plan, and your own body’s energy, Acupuncture can help you achieve that dream of having your own family.