Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have an extensive and illustrious history of treating fertility issues. Still relevant today, they offer a reliable alternative for couples wanting to maximise their fertility naturally.
Pre-conception care the TCM way
According to TCM, ‘a healthy body is a fertile body’. Hence TCM fertility treatment focuses upon getting both partners to an optimal state of health so as to maximise the quality of both sperm and egg.
As it takes approximately 3 to 4 months for sperm and eggs to develop, it is important to spend this time before conception adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle incorporating Acupuncture and supplementation where necessary.
How can Acupuncture enhance fertility?
Acupuncture may enhance fertility by:
- correcting hormonal imbalances and regulating the menstrual cycle
- improving the quantity and quality of cervical mucus
- stimulating ovulation
- effectively treating an array of gynaecological disorders, including:
- PCOS (see below)
- hormonal imbalances/poor egg quality
- immunological or inflammatory conditions
- thyroid disease
promoting a sufficient menstrual bleed to ensure endometrial thickness and quality
- enhancing follicular development
- optimising the patency of the fallopian tubes
- improving sperm health, including volume, count, morphology and motility.
Acupuncture and PCOS
PCOS is the most common reproductive disorder in women. It is characterised by the presence of cystic growths on the ovaries that are often accompanied by a range of symptoms including amenorrehea, anovulatory cycles, hirsutism, acne, infertility just to name a few. These cysts develop due increased amounts of androgenic hormones being released by the ovaries. This is usually in response to either high serum insulin levels or an excess of luteinising hormone (LH).
Acupuncture can be of great assistance to women with PCOS . It can have a regulating effect of the ovaries, therefore it can be used to decrease the amount of androgenic hormones released. It may also have a similar effect on the pituitary gland, blocking the release of excessive levels of LH.
A literature review conducted in 2010 by Lim and Wong further attests to the efficacy of Acupuncture for the treatment of PCOS. They conclude that Acupuncture can treat this condition due to its abilities to:
- increase blood flow to the ovaries and decrease ovarian volume and cyst numbers
- regulate insulin levels and addressing insulin resistance
- regulate cortisol levels.