More Pins and Needles - Acupuncture

The practice of acupuncture dates back thousands of years in China. While acupuncture has been found to be helpful in treating a variety of ailments, from pain management to quitting smoking, recent studies have shown that it can also be beneficial to those experiencing infertility.

Some possible theories as to just why acupuncture works include:
  • Changes to the central nervous system during acupuncture sessions alter the regulation of blood pressure and flow as well as body temperature.

  • Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system causing neurotransmitters and neurohormones to be released, thereby boosting your body’s natural ability to heal itself.

  • Acupuncture reduces pain by releasing the endorphins, which naturally occur in the body’s pain control system, into the central nervous system.
Regardless of just how it works, the fact remains that it is a relatively painless procedure with minimal side effects when done by a professional.  The treatments themselves are often very relaxing with soothing music and aromatherapy.

It is thought that acupuncture can help with infertility because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.  Acupuncture can also help by addressing problems that affect fertility such as an under-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) or over-functioning thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

There are minimal risks in using acupuncture for fertility treatment. The risk of miscarriage may increase if incorrect acupuncture points are used during pregnancy. This is one reason why those choosing to include acupuncture in their treatment regimen should only be treated by an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. Acupuncture is generally safe regardless of a person’s medical history.

I find my treatments to be very relaxing and a great stress reliever.  I usually wake up the next day feeling very energized and feel like my overall stress level is decreasing or that I am just handling it a little better than I used to.  I plan to continue periodic treatments after our IVF cycle for general well-being.

If you are interesting in trying acupuncture for yourself, you should go to to find licensed acupuncture practitioner in your area.

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