Acupuncture is not a new idea in medicine, by any means. In fact, traditional Chinese medicine has incorporated the use of acupuncture to stimulate the body to self-heal for more than 3000 years. Today, acupuncture is used to treat chronic pain, the pain and stiffness of arthritis, and is a proven method to calm anxiety. This ancient medical treatment is widely accepted among physicians all over the world.
Adding the practice of acupuncture to your IVF regimen is an excellent idea. Utilizing acupuncture as a way to ease the path to pregnancy has helped many women. While acupuncture alone isn’t a viable treatment for infertility, it can, when used before, or during, the IVF process, help make IVF less stressful, and less painful.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for IVF
Although the reviews on the efficacy of acupuncture in boosting your odds of success with IVF are mixed, it won’t hamper your ability to become pregnant. And, used in conjunction with IVF, acupuncture has been shown effective in keeping you healthy in many other ways. Here’s a look at the many benefits of acupuncture, and how it can help you while you’re going through this type of fertility treatment.
Reduces Stress: It can be a stressful endeavor to go through IVF. Your anxiety is at an all-time high. While you wonder if this round of IVF will be successful, you’re also undergoing the physical stress of hormone injections, seemingly-endless tests, egg retrieval, and all the other aspects of treatment. Stress isn’t just hard on your emotionally, your body is also dealing with your anxiety in a physical way. Muscles bunch up, blood flow is impaired, you may experience acmes and pains, an increase in blood pressure, and a whole slew of symptoms that can impact your IVF success. Acupuncture is shown to help you relax and alleviate the profound effect of stress on your body, including your reproductive system.
Improves Blood Flow: Because acupuncture slows the nervous system it causes your blood vessels to dilate. This results in increased blood flow to all areas of your body, most importantly your uterus and ovaries. Increased blood flow to the ovaries will enable the fertility medications to do their job much more effectively, while increased circulation in the uterus makes for a much more friendly and nourishing environment for implantation and fetal development.
Improves Your Immune System: A healthy pregnancy begins with a healthy mother. Acupuncture gives your immune system the boost you need to fight off pathogens that could wreak havoc and leave you feeling lousy. Should you get sick, your immune-boost from acupuncture will shorten the length of time you’re down and out.
Increases Energy and Improves Sleep: Your body’s response to the hormonal surges brought on by preparation for IVF can be difficult. You may feel exhausted, and as though you’re in a fog, or experience insomnia as your mind races through the night. Acupuncture is a well-known treatment for insomnia, to causes you to feel naturally energized, and your mental clarity improves.
Improves Digestive Health: The link between your digestive wellness and your overall health is widely accepted these days. Poor digestion can cause all manner of maladies, including depression. When you’re going through IVF you want to feel positive, and ready to take on the world. Acupuncture helps stave off digestive issues, including the nausea some women experience with the surge of hormones.
The Bottom Line
In your quest to become pregnant, anything that eases your mind, and helps maintain your reproductive health, is a good idea. If you are someone who shies away from needles, acupuncture may not be your chosen method of reducing stress and improving blood flow. In fact, just thinking about receiving this type of treatment may cause undue anxiety.
However, if you’re not bothered by needles, and you’re open to trying new experiences that may help bring about successful IVF results, acupuncture is a worthwhile treatment. Consult your physician to find out more about the practice of acupuncture and how it can help you. Your doctor’s office will be more than happy to refer you to a licensed professional who specializes in acupuncture.