Acupuncture for Infertility: Where do the Needles go?

It is no secret that David and I had a difficult journey to parenting

5 cycles of IVF ICSI finally resulted in the birth of our beautiful twins

During the times of invasive tests and treatments

I often thought about acupuncture

Though never felt that I knew enough about it

The practical aspects and the benefits

I hope that this collaborative post with Dr John Tsagaris might be a valuable read

For people following the path of their own infertility journey

twins at 13 weeks and 5 days

One of the most common and effective treatments in the John Tsagaris clinic here in Chelsea is fertility acupuncture. The technique works alongside conventional protocols, as well as Chinese herbs and supplements to maximise the chances of conception.
Acupuncture facilitates the natural schedule of hormonal regulation, as well as improving the ovarian responses and assisting with egg integrity. It also addresses contributing factors which may be involved with fertility rates in both women and men irrespectively.

How Do We Treat Someone with Fertility Issues?
There are different ways to treat a person when it comes to optimum fertility health, and when concluding on the right diagnosis and taking the appropriate compatibility venue with the western intervention, acupuncture can significantly increase fertility rates.
We’re all individuals, therefore a tailored treatment strategy is needed – and this needs to be in place from the very beginning.
Due to the individuality of every patient, the acupuncture practitioner will select the most appropriate acupuncture body points and will handle the needles with certain techniques to provide the desired stimulation. During the treatment, other Chinese medical modalities may be employed, such as moxa or infra-red light, electro-acupuncture, or auricular acupuncture.
Everyone receives a tailored acupuncture treatment each time, and every time is different according to the progress of the patient.
The acupuncturist will focus on the patient’s individual circumstances and recommend the most suitable treatment plan.

Commonly, the practitioner will assist with the following:

Preparing and assisting the body for IVF or IUI cycle and hormonal intervention
Ovarian stimulation; as well as clearing any issues associated with the area
Embryo transfer: before the transfer, it is very important to have an acupuncture session, in order to maximise chances
Post-transfer – this is a very crucial time for acupuncture, as it will assist with fertilisation process leading to conception.

Which Points Do We Work on?
Frequently in clinical practice, points that stimulate the reproductive organs. such as the ovaries, the uterus and the fallopian tubes, are worked on. These points are located are on the lower abdominal area and are complemented with points on the back, the arms and legs.

The peripheral points are crucial to deliver deeper relaxation to the patient and induce endorphin levels, in which the localised points are more significant to facilitate energy and blood circulation to the reproductive organs.

Generally, needles are inserted from 1/4 to 1 inch in depth and they do not hurt but give, as required, a particular ‘acupuncture’ sensation.

Once the conventional protocol has been established proceeding with IVF, or IUI or any other fertilisation procedure, the acupuncturist will see the patient at least twice a month – usually mid-cycle and at the end of their menstrual cycle, following the scheduled hormonal regulation process.

Even if a patient finds out that she is pregnant, acupuncture is completely safe and, in addition, will support pregnancy until the fourth or fifth month.

How Can Acupuncture Help During Pregnancy?
Is very important to remember that getting pregnant is one thing and keeping the baby is another. Therefore, appropriate support is essential at this very beginning pregnancy stage. Acupuncture at early pregnancy could alleviate symptoms such as acne, upset tummy, lower back ache, sickness tendencies, lack of energy and sleeping disturbance.
Very often in the clinic we use auricular or ear acupuncture, using needle or seed stimulation and frequently we use tiny virtually invisible silver balls in particular points on the ear. We’ll then use an adhesive clear plaster for long term and more effective treatment. People usually keep these on for a week or so, with significant benefits.
Chinese medicine enhances success rates with functional infertility, which results from different contributing factors and constitutional profiles. Chinese medicine may also assist with some structural infertility problems, such as pelvic inflammatory complications, endometriosis, vaginitis, ovary dysfunction, and immune-system-related infertility.

A successful acupuncture course will be one that addresses and coordinates with a conventional approach to infertility, focusing on the symptoms and the causes. It will also take into account what it is the new mum needs. This is before we even start talking about babies, as the physical and mental wellbeing of the mother will secure the successful conception and pregnancy and help them grow a healthy and beautiful son or daughter.

This is a collaborative post

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