According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and RESOLVE, the national infertility association, approximately 12 percent of couples have trouble conceiving or sustaining a pregnancy. Additionally, RESOLVE and Reproductive Facts statistics show less than half of these women seek medical assistance, and of those who do, 85-90 percent of these infertility cases are treated with drugs or invasive surgical procedures.
For many women, the desire to conceive naturally outweighs their desire to take potentially dangerous drugs or undergo surgery. Thankfully, the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture offers a safe alternative. Here is what you need to know.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the practitioner inserting extremely thin needles at specific point on the body. Ancient Chinese philosophy believed disease, pain, and other health issues are caused by blocked energy channels within the body. The points where the acupuncture needles are inserted can restore the natural flow of energy. While Western medicine has long disbelieved the effectiveness of acupuncture, modern science is being surprised as more and more studies are showing its success. For example, a recent meta-analysis of acupuncture for chronic knee pain found it appeared to be an effective treatment method in patients.
How Could Acupuncture Help Infertility And Miscarriage?
Acupuncture is frequently used for increasing blood flow to the human body's organs. When acupuncture is done with the goal of conception or maintaining a pregnancy, increased blood flow to the uterus could help women conceive. When an egg is fertilized, it implants itself into the blood-lined lining of the uterus. If this lining is not thick enough, the zygote or embryo is shed.
In addition to unblocking and balancing the energy flows in the body, acupuncture is also believed to balance hormones. Many women cannot conceive because of hormone irregularities. In addition to hormones playing a huge role in the thickening of the lining of the uterus each month, they play a role in ovulation. If a woman isn't regularly and predictably ovulating, conceiving will be difficult.
Acupuncture is also believed to aid in reducing inflammation. This is especially important in women with autoimmune diseases, in which inflammation is a key feature. Autoimmune diseases are when the body's defense system attacks another part of the body, mistaking it as a foreign invader. In women with autoimmune diseases, conception can be more difficult as the body views sperm as well as a successful zygote or embryo as a parasite and works to remove it.
If you and your partner are struggling with infertility and are reluctant to involve overreaching doctors, consider fertility acupuncture. This ancient alternative remedy may be the right approach for you.