Growing evidence indicates acupuncture can significantly increase the chances of couples conceiving*.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine originating in
China several thousand years ago. Practitioners observed the nature of all things and considered our bodies to be a microcosm of the world around us.
You have probably heard of the terms Yin and Yang. Essentially these are ways to describe the nature of something. In the case of water for example, its ice state would be Yin in relation to the liquid Yang (more movement and less dense). However its liquid state would be Yin (less movement and more dense) in relation to steam which is more Yang in comparison. This language of Yin and Yang is also used to describe the functioning of the body.
The practice of acupuncture involves the insertion of disposable, hair-thin, sterilised needles into points situated along channels of energy just beneath your skin. The insertion of these needles promotes your bodys own healing response, restoring the balance of Yin and Yang considered essential to good health. We know from Western medicine that this process stimulates the release of hormones such as endorphins into your blood stream creating a very relaxed state. Often people are very surprised to find they frequently fall asleep during treatment.
Costs and Frequency of Sessions
An acupuncture treatment, depending on your location will cost in the region of £30-£60 per session. In general, treatment for infertility will require 3 months of weekly treatments. Over this time it is usually possible to gain a significant influence over your menstrual cycle in order to bring your body into balance and provide optimum conditions for conception.
Male factor infertility is likely to require a similar length of treatment in order to boost sperm count and increase seminal motility.If you have had prior problems with miscarriage it is also recommended to have regular treatment during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Recommendations for both partners include;·
Refraining from smoking and any recreational drugs·
Cutting out alcohol and caffeine·
Avoiding pesticides and chemicals and therefore eating healthily with plenty of organic produce·
Men should avoid using laptops where possible as the heat can affect testicular function·
Chill out! This aspect is often overlooked, but is perhaps the most important. Find at least 20 minutes to unwind completely each day. Zoning out to the TV does not count. Try relaxation techniques or going for a walk in nature while really taking in your environment.·
Gentle exercise such as yoga, tai chi or pilates are all great for unwinding, relaxing and getting the blood flowing to the places which need it. Or women could even join a belly-dance class this has been used for thousands of years to increase fertility (and to entice men…)
If you do decide to explore acupuncture it is strongly recommended you approach only members of the British Acupuncture Council as you can rest assured your practitioner will have studied acupuncture to degree level, is fully insured and commits to a programme of continued practitioner development. They will carry the letters MBAcC after their name.
Be wary as there is currently no state regulation of the profession.
Best wishes to all and remember the Chinese saying; where the mind goes, energy flows so be relaxed and positive in all you do.
Jenny Sercombe MBAcCPracticing in
Manchester and Stockport.
Call 07970 515 391 if you wish to make an appointment.
* ACUPUNCTURE AND FEMALE INFERTILITY
A report (Fertility and Sterility 2002;78:1149-1153) found the pregnancy rate in a group receiving acupuncture was 42.5%, compared to the group which did not receive the therapy, where the rate was 26.3%.