Acupuncture And Fertility
Many couples have troubles conceiving a child, and the recent growth in available fertility treatments has greatly increased the expectations of a lot of people. The majority of the treatments available are long-winded, extremely complicated and expensive, and often use chemicals with numerous side effects. In many cases, only small changes might be enough to improve the chances of becoming pregnant, and the extensive mainstream western methods of fertility treatment may not be absolutely necessary. Natural and traditional medicine and even folk remedies may be an option worth exploring first, although many have been shown to be ineffective, one that has shown considerable promise is acupuncture.
Women’s fertility and acupuncture
In most of the west, acupuncture is now the most popular alternative fertility treatment in use by women, with its biggest advantages being absolutely no negative effects, no chemicals, and relatively low cost. Acupuncture is also widely available at usually short notice, without the extremely long waiting lists and qualifying requirements and tests required by mainstream medical options.
So does it actually work?
The traditional explanation for the process of acupuncture is that it enables the energy of the body, or chi to flow properly between all the parts of a person, allowing this energy to remain in balance. All illnesses are attributed to an imbalance of this energy, either directly or indirectly. The more scientific view is that acupuncture stimulates nervous impulses, which alter the way the body produces different hormones. In terms of fertility treatment, this means that systems in the body that work by complex chemical reactions can be altered in a beneficial way if they are interfering with the natural process of fertilisation. The treatment is less likely to have any effect when actual mechanical structures required for the fertility process are damaged or incorrectly formed. Those women suffering from infertility due to endometriosis, ovulation problems or hormonal imbalances can find acupuncture very effective.
It is common for the acupuncture treatments to be used in conjunction with conventional techniques, as it has no known negative side effects so ‘there is nothing to lose’. As a result of this, studies of women only using acupuncture have been limited in scope and number, although one of the major studies which have been carried out showed up to 20% greater chance of conceiving using acupuncture and IVF treatment than just using IVF alone.
Male fertility, in terms of significantly increased sperm count and quality, has also been shown to be much improved when using acupuncture treatments.
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