It is estimated that 1 in 6 Australian couples will experience fertility challenges1, and there may be a number of reasons that contribute to this. Acupuncture treatment can be very beneficial when fertility support is needed; and has a long history of use for infertility and reproductive health conditions.2
The precise mechanisms by which acupuncture works to improve fertility are not well defined but are most commonly associated with its effect on hormonal regulation, improvement of blood flow to the pelvis, reduction of stress and anxiety, and an improved sense of health and wellbeing. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce the time taken to fall pregnant in women who have regular treatments.2
During assisted fertility treatment, such as IVF, acupuncture can be used to support the process, with studies showing that acupuncture can improve the pregnancy rate during IVF3 and help to relieve stress and anxiety at embryo transfer.4
Acupuncture is recommended for general preconception care, even where no barriers to fertility are expected, as it has a long history of traditional use in fertility, pregnancy and birth support.
In acupuncture treatments, very fine needles are placed in points along the acupuncture meridians related to different health systems. For most people, the effect is painless and most often instills a sense of peace and tranquillity.
Acupuncture fertility treatments will usually involve weekly or fortnightly sessions, but this can vary from woman to woman, depending on her specific case.
1. Dept of Health. 2018. http://www.health.gov.au 2. Cochrane et al. 2016. Evidence Based CAM. 3. Qian et al. 2017. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 4 Smith et al. 2018. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand.