Acupuncture for Fertility and IVF ……
,,,,,,, helping you achieve your dreams
Trying for a baby is a bumpy journey. When you first start trying for a baby, it’s very exciting. Then the months go by, one period after another. It seems like everyone around you is getting pregnant and having babies, yet it’s not happening for you. Deep down you know something is wrong.
You start “googling” and find vast amounts of information. But it’s often contradictory. One source says have pineapple juice/ milk/ brazil nuts when struggling with fertility. Another says don’t. Some websites recommend to avoid coffee/ alcohol/ meat when undergoing fertility treatment or IVF. Others say eat and drink normally. You visit your doctor who tells you to keep trying. But even that’s confusing. Some fertility experts advise to have intercourse every 2-3 days, others- around ovulation time. And can you be sure if or when you ovulate? You are exhausted, confused and perplexed. Who to trust? Whose advice do you listen to?
This is where I may be able to help you. I will take your detailed medical history relating to fertility and enquire into every aspect of your health. Many patients need more than fertility acupuncture, some patients may be experiencing headaches & migraines, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain etc treatment for which can be included within our treatment plan.
I have supported patients through different stages of their journey, from natural conception to fertility treatment or IVF. I shape and adapt your acupuncture care to your specific situation and aim to make the rest of your fertility journey as stress free, easy and happy as possible.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a holistic form of healing developed over several thousands of years as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture treatment aims to balance the body’s energy called Qi (chee) by inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body. TCM has described and mapped these points. Acupuncture points are found along fourteen meridians. These are pathways for energy flow in the body.
There are more than 2000 Acupuncture points, each able to regulate, restore or correct different functions of the body. When the human body’s energy flow is unbalanced or depleted, a person may feel ill.
By stimulating acupuncture points the imbalance of energy can be treated. Acupuncture points are the places where the energy flow is at its most superficial level and therefore accessible to treatment. If you have ever been tempted to massage your temples to try to ease a headache you may inadvertently be stimulating an important acupuncture point that is used in treating head pain.
Conventional / Western Medicine’s explanation of how Acupuncture treatment works
Acupuncture treatment is acknowledged to work by conventional medical science. Many medical practitioners now learn some basic acupuncture points and offer a limited form of acupuncture treatment to their patients. Western medical science has different explanations of how acupuncture works.
- Meridians (or energy flow pathways) lie very close to the main nerve branches. Therefore, when Acupuncture points are stimulated, the nerves are also stimulated, which produces noticeable pain relief.
- Each organ has its own specific (autonomic) nerve supply. By stimulating each organ’s nerve supply, acupuncture can also have an effect on major organs and body systems.
- In musculoskeletal problems, stimulation of Acupuncture points increases blood flow to the damaged area, supplying it with extra oxygen and nutrients, hence aiding and speeding up the healing process.
- Acupuncture alters the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killing chemicals, and hormones.
Does Acupuncture really work?
Numerous studies have been done investigating the effectiveness of acupuncture. Many of these studies concluded that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for many different conditions.
Several studies have looked at the benefit of combining Acupuncture and fertility treatments, for example in 2016 a study by Hommerton University Hospital, London involved 160 women – half were assigned acupuncture during their IVF cycle – 12 months on the success rate among these women was DOUBLE that of those who did not have Acupuncture. In 2002 a study (Paulus et al) suggested that Acupuncture could significantly increase the pregnancy rate. In 2008 a study published by the British Medical Journal concluded that there was evidence of benefit.
Are there side-effects from Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe and rarely produces any side effects. Only single use, sterile, disposable needles are used in practice. The effects of acupuncture treatment vary from person to person. For example, some people may feel hot or cold, or feel a sensation of tingling or twitching in another part of their body away from the area treated. Most patients, however, feel a deep sense of warmth and relaxation. Many people often feel sleepy after acupuncture treatment. Some patients, especially if treated for musculo-skeletal problems, might feel sore for a few days after being treated.
What happens in an Acupuncture consultation?
During your first consultation you will be asked to describe any symptoms that you experience. You will also be asked about your present and past medical history
After the assessment, the preferred treatment plan for managing you will be discussed with you. Sometimes if our acupuncturist considers it to be in the best interests of your health you may be advised to consult another health care practitioner.
Once satisfied that all the relevant information has been obtained, I will then select the most appropriate acupuncture points. Although there are 2000 recognised acupuncture points only a small number of these will be used in any one particular treatment session.
Needles will then be inserted into the most appropriate acupuncture points. This may be away from the site of the problem. For example, a point on a hand may be used to treat back ache. The needles will usually be left in place for an average of 10-15 minutes, although this may be shorter or longer, depending on what is being treated. During this time most patients feel quite relaxed, some even fall asleep.
Does Acupuncture treatment hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very fine, much finer than the needles used in injections or blood tests. Some are thinner than human hair. When the needle is inserted, some people feel a very slight tingling sensation. Most people are pleasantly surprised that the feeling of the needle being inserted is not as uncomfortable as they were expecting.
I am an experienced Acupuncturist who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), Associate member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS), a former regional tutor for an established Acupuncture training college and founder member of Zita West’s network for reproductive health.
With a well established private practise based within CARE Fertility at Nottingham and at Nottingham Road Clinic in Mansfield. I have gained extensive knowledge and experience of working with patients trying to conceive. This knowledge and experience has been enhanced and consolidated by my role as IVF Co-ordinator, working alongside a leading fertility Consultant.
Please contact me for further information of Acupuncture
Tel: Nottingham Road Clinic, Mansfield 01623 623137 / CARE Fertility 01158528100