Acupuncture and Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART)

There is a long history of gynaecology in Chinese Medicine with doctors specialising in this area over thousands of years using both herbal and acupuncture treatment approaches.
Within this, the area of fertility has always played an important part with dedicated practitioners In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of acupuncture treatment particularly by patients undergoing ART, one reason perhaps is that there is more research on the benefits of acupuncture, particularly around embryo transfer, to show how acupuncture can enhance or improve the chances of ART success, whether IVF or ICSI.

However, it’s helpful to consider that acupuncture, when started at an earlier stage, around 3-6 months before ART treatment, provides an opportunity to prepare the body and potentially influence important stages such as follicular development and recruitment, endometrial development and egg maturation as well as the transfer stage.

Acupuncture can help to restore balance to the body’s energy and blood flow, which may help to improve fertility and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Another way that acupuncture can help with fertility is by reducing stress which is thought to be linked to reduced fertility. In Chinese Medicine, the emotions are considered to be very important when diagnosing fertility issues and will be supported with treatment.

When looking at medical causes for reduced fertility, it is important to recognise that there is little difference in the percentage of male and female factors eg 20-30% of infertility can be a male factor and 20-35% female factor and 25-40% is due to both. From a Chinese Medicine perspective it is important to consider seeing both partners for treatment if it is
not clearly defined.

To find out more about how acupuncture can help with either natural conception, gynaecological issues or support through ART, please get in touch.

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