Trying to conceive? Have you thought of acupuncture? It’s an extremely popular treatment therapy and there are plenty of reasons for seeking out acupuncture to help, especially in the weeks and months before conception happens.
1. Development of optimum quality eggs
You need to give your acupuncturist at least 3 months to influence your menstrual cycle and get you ready for pregnancy, more if you have long standing conditions like endometriosis or PCOS. It takes 3 months plus for immature follicles to develop into mature follicles which contain eggs, one of which will take the lead to hopefully release an egg during ovulation.
That means that during this time there is a huge opportunity to positively influence the follicle environment so that follicles coming through contain optimum quality eggs ready for release.
Regular acupuncture during this time greatly enhances this process. Treatments are planned differently at every stages of the menstrual cycle to support the developing follicles, I always advise my clients that nature can’t be rushed but we can see the changes on BBT charts!
2. Balancing Hormones
Hormonal problems are often the root cause of fertility issues ranging from irregular periods, to anovulation, and more complex conditions like PCOS, endometriosis.
When you are trying to conceive it is vital that these chemical messengers are in balance in order to optimise the menstrual cycle.
Acupuncture is a safe, natural method of balancing and harmonizing fertility hormones. By placing super fine needles into tiny little conduits of energy, aka acupuncture points, the qi of organs and glands can be stimulated. Over a course of treatment the results can be amazing.
3. Managing your TTC stress levels
Trying to conceive causes stress, this increases levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) which in turn reduces the likelihood of becoming pregnant –thus increasing stressful further. It’s a vicious circle, and all this on top of the everyday pressure we already have in daily life.
Not only that, high levels of cortisol have also been linked to increase risk of miscarriage once women become pregnant. So reducing stress and calming the Shen is at the very heart of optimal fertility.
During an acupuncture treatment each needle insertion stimulates the nervous system and causes the release of neurochemicals which help bring the body into balance. My clients always leave feeling relaxed, calm and report a good night’s sleep after treatment.
4. Dietary advice
Nobody will be surprised to learn that what we eat has a massive role to play in our overall health and diet is especially important when prepping for conception and pregnancy. Gut health effects every system in the body and is responsible for the proper function of the immune system.
Acupuncturists, are not nutritionists but we have had training in dietary advice from a TCM perspective. Those with post graduate fertility training will have looked at different diets to support conditions which effect fertility such as PCOS where insulin resistance can be an issue.
When combined with lifestyle and dietary changes, the treatment of acupuncture is greatly enhanced. Your acupuncturist will always support you in dietary changes and refer you to a fertility nutritionist if required.
5. Promoting health in pregnancy and beyond
The good news about acupuncture is that not only does it help balance menstrual cycles so that conception can happen, the pre-conception acupuncture you have done helps you stay pregnant. Research suggests that acupuncture may help in preventing miscarriages, as long as they are not related to chromosomal abnormalities.
Acupuncture supports blood flow to the uterus, reduces stress, and helps prevent nausea and sickness. Later on in the pregnancy, muscular pain, heartburn, constipation and swelling can all be significantly relieved with acupuncture.
Pre conception acupuncture puts you at an emotional and physical advantage before pregnancy, and gives your embryo and future baby the best possible chance for health.
I am an acupuncturist with post graduate training in fertility, pregnancy and reproductive immunology but if I’m not in your area check out Fertility Support Trained acupuncturists.