The Valley Spirit never dies. It is called the Mysterious Feminine.
And the doorway to the mysterious feminine
It is the gateway through which heaven and earth arise.
It is there within you all the while. Use it as you will;
It will never run dry.
The Tao te Ching
It is estimated that around 1 in 6 couples now experience difficulty when trying to conceive. Acupuncture has a long history in treating fertility dating back to the 7th century. More recently, it is being used to enhcance the success rates of assisted conception techniques such as IVF and IUI.
Improving your health before you conceive can increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and baby; think of it as preparing the ground before planting the seed – the condition of the soil determines whether the seed will germinate and how well it will grow.
The ‘ideal’ time to starting having treatments is 3 months before trying to conceive naturally or starting a cycle involving any Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IUI’s (intrauterine insemination) or IVF’s (invitro fertilization). Here’s why:- your blood is the foundation of your health and determines the quality of your cells, hormones, tissues and organs – and your eggs and sperm. What you eat and drink each day determines your blood quality. It takes around 120 days for the red blood cells to regenerate, and around 150 days for a follicle to mature. Improvements in your health will increase gradually over three months of treatments providing you with the best conditions possible for conception to occur.
Couples having difficulty conceiving can experience enormous levels of frustration, anxiety and disappointment. It is well known that stress has an adverse effect on fertility hormones in both men and women, and acupuncture can help to promote a calm, positive frame of mind which supports a more successful outcome for conception.
Reduced fertility of unknown origin
A couple’s fertility depends on many factors, such as constitution, age, lifestyle, diet and stress levels. If there is no diagnosed reason for infertility (male or female) then a course of acupuncture treatments would aim to strengthen both partners constitution and create a harmonious environment for conception. We will also take a look at your diet and lifestyle and see if some changes would be beneficial.
If there is a known reason for infertility, acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with medical interventions.
For more information on how stress negetively effects fertility dowload Randine Lewis’s excellent article Stress and Unexplained Infertility.
Acupuncture to support IUI and IVF
Acupuncture can be used as a support for all stages of IUI and IVF treatment. Most clinical trials to date suggest that acupuncture may be useful in the embryo transfer stage of in vitro fertilisation, and results in an increased pregnancy rate and a greater number of live births. Among other things, it could help to minimise side effects of drugs, such as nausea.
I offer both pre and post embryo transfer treatments. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that acupuncture given at the time of embryo transfer might have a positive influence on treatment outcomes.