Having a baby is a natural stage in life and something that many couples take for granted. After years of using contraception to prevent parenthood, we assume that deciding not to use it is all that is required for conception and pregnancy. Unfortunately, for some couples this is increasingly not the case. NHS Choices states that 84/100 couples will have conceived within 1 year of regular unprotected sex, and 92/100 will have conceived within 2 years. As women age their chances of becoming pregnant become less, on average 94/100 woman of 35 will have a conceived within 3 years compared to 77/100 at 38. Still reasonably good odds, but as women get older they have an increased risk of developing conditions which may make getting pregnant more difficult, such as
- Ovarian failure
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Hormonal imbalances e.g. thyroid or pituitary
And for men
- Low sperm count
- Insufficient sperm motility
- Poor sperm morphology
- Obstruction of the seminal tract
The above list seems daunting but, for 1 in 3 couples finding it difficult to conceive, the diagnosis is perhaps more frustrating when they are told they have “unexplained infertility” which means that there is no medical reason to account for why conception has not occurred.
Once a diagnosis has been made couples may have already gone through a number of extensive tests and may be thinking about assisted conception as an option, which ranges from treatment with drugs to intervention’s such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilisation).
However, more and more couples are turning to acupuncture to help them with fertility issues either before they consider more dramatic AC (assisted conception) such as IUI or IVF, or use acupuncture in conjunction with these techniques to enhance their chances of success. Even couples, mostly women, who have not had a barrage of tests but are planning a family seek the benefits of acupuncture to give themselves the best chance of conceiving naturally.
Acupuncture is successful in treating all the above conditions because it works by bringing the body’s life energy back into balance. Treatments are designed to fit each individual but acupuncture can help in the following ways
- Regulates hormones
- Reduces menstrual anomalies such as – spotting, pain, heavy bleeding, short or long cycle
- Encourages blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, paving the way for a conception and implantation
- Reduce stress levels, essential for healthy conception
As an alternative, or as an adjunct, to AC acupuncture can be very beneficial not least because it is a calming and enjoyable experience where you can allow yourself real time out with a practitioner who has time for you. Acupuncturist’s have been trained to recognise where treatment is out of scope and would always refer to a Western practitioner when necessary. Make sure you choose a member of the British Acupuncture Council.
For more information and treatment in the West Wimbledon and Merton Park area, please call Sally on 07956 367003