Acupuncture for Fertility & Pregnancy
Studies have shown that acupuncture can be very effective in treating male and female natural fertility, infertility (male and female), and in supporting women during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
This is an area of special interest at AcuWell. Owner and practitioner, Maria Maher, holds a Diploma with Distinction in TCM Gynaecology and Obstetrics – Acupuncture, awarded by Dr. Trevor Wing of The Woman’s Natural Health Practice. She is a founding member of both the Zita West affiliated acupuncturist network for reproductive health, which was established in Ireland in 2009, and of Acupuncture for Fertility & Pregnancy Ireland (AFPI). Maria has also completed postgraduate training with other UK-based experts in the areas of fertility, pregnancy and obstetrics, notably, with Jani White of Nature Child, renowned midwife and acupuncturist Sarah Budd, as well as with Debra Betts, midwife, acupuncturist, international lecturer and author based in New Zealand.
At AcuWell acupuncture treatments for fertility and pregnancy include the provision of Fact Sheets from fertility expert, Zita West, which cover dietary and nutrition advice, lifestyle advice, preparation for IVF, advice on trying to conceive naturally, and advice during early pregnancy. In addition to this, AcuWell provides dietary advice in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which offers a different view of the human body and of food. Other helpful resources and information are also provided and fertility questionnaires will be sent to the patient and/or couple for completion before the initial treatment.
Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy can help the following:
– Boost fertility and conception
– Improve chances of IVF success
– Relieve Stress
– Enhance Pregnancy
– Support post-natal recovery
Acupuncture can help relieve common female gynaecological conditions which affect the ability to conceive. These include:
– Low Ovarian Reserve
– Irregular Menstrual Cycles
– Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Acupuncture can also help relieve common male fertility issues, such as:
– Low sperm count
– Poor sperm motility and morphology
– DNA fragmentation issues
– Autoimmune conditions
For pregnancy, labour and post-natal women acupuncture can also be of benefit. The following are some of the conditions often treated:
– Nausea & morning sickness
– Breeched baby
– Labour induction
– Musculo-skeletal (back ache, sciatica, rib pain, symphysis pubis pain, leg cramps)
Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture for Fertility and IVF – click here.
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“A friend recommended attending AcuWell for Fertility Acupuncture. We had been trying to conceive for over two years when I decided to go to Maria. Following a few months of treatment, I found out I was pregnant! Maria is lovely and she is very informed in what she does. She was extremely professional at all times and it was easy for me to trust her. She gave me lots of information which was very helpful too. I would definitely recommend going to Maria for Fertility Acupuncture.” Nessa
“I went to Maria while I was having IVF. I felt very safe in her hands because of her knowledge and understanding of fertility and pregnancy. After I conceived I continued to go to her during the three trimesters of my pregnancy and really looked forward to the treatments. Acupuncture helped relieve some common pregnancy problems I experienced – including varicose veins, pelvic pain and back pain. As a result I had a very enjoyable pregnancy with no complications and I now have healthy twins! I would be delighted to recommend Maria to anyone going through pregnancy or who is trying to conceive” Mary
“I attended AcuWell for acupuncture prior to conception, for the first trimester and for the final few weeks of pregnancy in preparation for labour. I feel so blessed to have had an amazing pregnancy and birthing experience and to now be the proud mother of a beautiful 8 week old baby boy. I’m sure acupuncture helped me achieve my dream of becoming a mother. Maria is lovely, gentle and well informed making her very easy to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend acupuncture with AcuWell as part of your pregnancy journey” Ruth
“We had been trying for a baby for about 2 years and nothing was happening. A friend recommended Maria to me so I went to her for acupuncture treatments. I felt I was in good hands, given her experience and success with fertility acupuncture. Unfortunately my husband lost his job around that time so I was unable to go for treatments on a regular basis but she gave me dietary advice for us both to follow. I decided to go for acupuncture treatments again when, about a year later, we were attending a fertility clinic. We had decided to try one IUI and, if that didn’t work, one cycle of IVF. During the three months before IUI, I had acupuncture treatments with Maria and, to my delight, I became pregnant! We never had to attend the fertility clinic in the end. I had treatments during my pregnancy and am now 9 months pregnant and am looking forward to being a “Mum” any day now! I am very grateful to Maria for her help in making this happen.” Bernice
“I had Fertility Acupuncture with Maria because I was trying for a baby and I have endometriosis. I had been pregnant before but miscarried. I had booked to attend a fertility clinic. I found Maria very reassuring and she gave me lots of valuable information. While attending her, and before starting any medication from the fertility clinic, I discovered I was pregnant! I am now 7 months into my pregnancy!” Aisling
“I went to Maria for Fertility Acupuncture while I was preparing for IUI because a good friend of mine who had been going to Maria during an IVF cycle spoke very highly of her. I had already had two miscarriages before I first saw Maria. I felt I was in very safe hands because Maria has done a lot of training and has a lot of experience in the area. I found her very helpful and reassuring. To my delight I became pregnant! I continued to attend Maria every two weeks until I was 12 weeks pregnant and I now look forward to attending her as my pregnancy progresses. I would recommend her to anyone.” Emer
“Myself and my husband attended Maria for Fertility Acupuncture because we had no option but to go down the IVF route, unfortunately, and knew that acupuncture would increase our chances of success. It was our first time so we wanted to do everything right. We both enjoyed the treatments with Maria and I found it really helped me to relax. She knows so much about the process and how it can be very stressful for both partners. It worked! We are now expecting our first baby!” Patricia
“I attended Maria while I was pregnant. Initially, I had very bad nausea and found it difficult to eat anything. Acupuncture really helped. Not only did it relieve my nausea, but I got my appetite back. I continued to be treated by Maria on a monthly basis to ensure I had a healthy pregnancy. I would highly recommend attending Maria if you are pregnant.” Mary
“Having previously had a treatment with a different acupuncturist, I was sceptical because I hadn’t felt anything during that treatment. However I found that I actually felt something during the treatment with Maria and more importantly, we got the end result we desired.” Ian
Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture for Fertility and IVF
Acupuncture is a medical treatment which involves the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile, single-use needles into specific acupuncture points on the body. These acupuncture points are located on pathways known as Channels or Meridians, where our “Qi” (vital energy) flows. These points, when needled, can regulate the way in which the body functions and can help correct any imbalances in the flow of our “Qi”. Therefore, it can help address problems that affect reproduction, as well as many other common conditions.
Can acupuncture be used to treat fertility & infertility?
Acupuncture has been used for centuries to boost male and female fertility, to prepare the body for conception and pregnancy and to treat any underlying conditions such as endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, issues with sperm, thyroid problems and ovulation issues.
• improve the quality of the gamete, embryo and endometrium
• reduce stress
• reduce the side effects of any required medical drugs
• reduce the chance of miscarriage
• modulate the immune system
Acupuncture for fertility is always supplemented with dietary advice, nutrition advice, lifestyle advice and, often, Chinese herbs.
Can acupuncture be used with conventional medical fertility treatments?
Fertility is one of the many conditions where acupuncture and conventional medicine can work together effectively. It is perfectly safe to use acupuncture when conventional medication is prescribed for conditions such as PCOS, underactive thyroid, or medications to induce ovulation or medications prescribed for couples undergoing IVF, ICSI or IUI.
When should acupuncture treatment begin?
Generally, it is better to have more acupuncture treatments than less. Treatments can begin at any stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle and at any time for a man. The general recommendation is that the woman has acupuncture treatments once a week for four weeks and then once every two weeks for three or four* menstrual cycles (*studies have shown that higher rates of pregnancy are achieved after four menstrual cycles). If the couple are going to have IVF, ICSI or IUI, it is recommended that they prepare for at least three months beforehand by having acupuncture treatments and following dietary and lifestyle advice.
Can acupuncture provide support during IVF?
Acupuncture complements IVF and can improve the chances of its success. Once the IVF (or IUI) cycle has been started, acupuncture treatments can be of benefit to relieve stress, thicken the endometrium (uterus), improve the quality of the gamete and embryo and reduce the side effects of the drugs prescribed.
Acupuncture Pre- and Post-Embryo Transfer
There is evidence that receiving acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer, both before and after, can significantly increase the success of IVF. Trials in Germany (Paulus et al, Fertility Sterility Journal 2002 April; 77 (4) 221.4) showed that this made 42 per cent difference in conception rates.
A recent meta-analysis (Manheimer E), published by the British Medical Journal in March 2008, suggests that women undergoing IVF, who also have acupuncture on the day of the embryo transfer, have a much higher chance of conceiving than those who do not.
Researchers at the University of Southampton and Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, UK, have found that women undergoing acupuncture at the same time as IVF increased their chances of having a baby from one in five to one in three.
The research, published on the Cochrane Library’s online database, involved looking at 13 studies comprising 2,000 women worldwide, who underwent acupuncture at the same time as a course of IVF.
If you would like to know more or if you would like to make an appointment, please contact us.