According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), it is estimated that infertility affects one in seven heterosexual couples in the UK.
Fertility issues affect a lot more people than we realise, and can affect both men and women for a variety of reasons.
Ovulatory disorders, tube damage, uterine or peritoneal disorders account for some of the most common causes.
That being said, 25 per cent of fertility issues are unexplained, and factors such as weight, stress, age, and lifestyle choices can all play a part.
What part can acupuncture play in boosting fertility?
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach when aiming to boost fertility.
It is generally seen as a safer, gentler and often therapeutic way to resolve fertility issues.
Practitioners work closely with their patients to try to increase fertility by targeting specific areas of the body and reducing stress.
The impact of stress on a person’s physical and mental health is well documented, with many people regularly experiencing headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and other health problems.
It is stress-induced issues such as these that can prevent women from ovulating and cause men to experience a lower sperm count and poor sperm mobility.
Acupuncture seeks to boost fertility by decreasing feelings of stress while increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs.
By doing so, the likelihood of implantation and an embryo being successfully carried to term greatly increases.
Acupuncture is also often recommended to women as a complementary treatment alongside IVF.
When used in tandem with IVF, acupuncture has been seen to increase conception rates significantly.
Before, during, and post IVF treatments, acupuncture targets specific acupoints to help complement the treatment and harmonise the body.
Which acupuncture points boost fertility?
When a practitioner is evaluating you for fertility acupuncture, the main thing they will be looking at is a pattern of bodily behaviours that will indicate an excess or deficiency in the body.
During your assessment, you will be asked about your menstrual cycle, the blood flow during your period, sleep quality, and any other symptoms you may regularly experience.
There is a range of acupuncture points that are pinpointed to boost fertility for different reasons, such as:
Table: Acupuncture For Fertility
Known as the ‘uterus point’, this point is located along the centreline, a thumb’s width above the pubic bone.
This point is used to aid with conditions linked to the uterus, including fertility issues, painful menstruation and uterine prolapse.
The curved bone acupuncture point is located in the centre of the pubic bone.
This point is used to assist with male infertility issues, painful menstruation, feminine discharge and irregular periods.
The ‘stone gate’ point is located approximately three inches above the pubic bone.
Practitioners use this acupuncture point to assist with fertility issues in both men and women. It is also used to help with abdominal pain and gastrointestinal problems.
The surging Qi point is located on the inner part of the groin.
Practitioners often use this point to assist with male fertility issues and help females with regulating menstrual cycles, painful periods and any unusual uterine bleeding.
This point is located along the kidney meridian.
This point is often used to assist with infertility, abdominal pain and any other gynaecological issues.
The team at Acupuncture That Works has proudly worked with couples that have struggled with male and female fertility issues for a number of years.
And, thanksfully, we have been incredibly fortunate to witness the birth of some lovely babies!
As part of our treatment, we use the Paulus Protocol**, which was first reported back in 2001 and came from a randomised clinical trial to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture on pregnancy rates.
The procedure is fairly simple and focuses on a needling handful of key ‘points’ which are needled at different times before and after IVF treatments.
If you would like to find out more about how Acupuncture could be part of your fertility programme, take a look at our Acupuncture for Fertility page.
We are pleased to support individuals and couples with fertility issues at our Northwich-based clinic and are able to provide support throughout the Cheshire area.