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Our Therapies

Fertility Acupuncture

Why would you volunteer to have needles stuck in you in the hope of getting pregnant?

First of all, in the defence of acupuncture, those needles are super fine, a quarter of a millimetre to be precise. Second of all, acupuncture has been shown to have several benefits including; reducing inflammation, regulating hormones, improving blood circulation and calming the nervous system.

What is inflammation and why would you want to reduce it to conceive?

Short term inflammation is part of the immune response - it heals wounds, fights infection and deals with toxins, so is fundamental to our health. When inflammation stays around for too long, the body remains on high alert, and that becomes detrimental to our health as our tissues and organs can become damaged. Some of the causes of the inflammation can all come under the banner of 'stress' but they include:

So, you can see that reducing inflammation frees up vital energy needed for the 9 months of pregnancy, labour, three months of the fourth trimester, and the years of the postnatal period.

How can acupuncture balance your hormones?

I'm assuming here that you don't have a medical condition with your pancreas, thyroid or pituitary and I am going to look at lifestyle causes of a hormone imbalance.

Having fertility acupuncture will help you to highlight where you might accidentally be upsetting the delicate balance of your hormones. Similar to chronic inflammation, an imbalance in your hormones can be caused by:

Do you see a pattern emerging here? Our lifestyle can send a message to our nervous system that says we are under threat. We are still 'cave' people, albeit cave people with access to any kind of information in the palm of our hand, but evolution is quite slow, so our nervous system is still primarily concerned with survival. Not sleeping, not eating (through dieting) and not connecting with our tribe are all perceived as life-threatening situations. Resources are then diverted away from 'non-essentials' such as baby-making hormones (oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone), and into immediately essential stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin). Luckily, most of these are within our control. And fertility acupuncture can help you access your rest, digest and reproduce state.

Why would you want improved blood flow to fall pregnant?

Like any other organ, your uterus is supplied with blood to keep it healthy. All of our organs function optimally when they have a good blood supply. You can imagine that something as simple as sitting at your computer all day may impede the flow of blood to your uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries. Acupuncture improves the flow of blood and oxygen.

I also practice womb and fertility massage therapy, which is another tool to removing 'stagnation'. Stagnation can show up as period pains, clots, PMS, digestive issues or sub-fertility. It can be due to a reduced flow of blood or lymph, or adhesions (scar tissue) in the connective tissues (muscles and fascia). I will show you how to use the massage on yourself in between sessions to help reposition a tilted uterus, break down scar tissue, or promote a connection to the part of your body that you may feel has 'failed' you. As well as self-massage I may also recommend applying a castor oil pack or lifestyle changes to promote your self-care practice.

What does the nervous system have to do with getting pregnant?

Remember that we still essentially cave people. If your nervous system senses there is a famine (if you are on a diet), then it knows now is not a good time to raise a child. If it perceives a threat from a predator (the barrage of emails from your boss) or a danger to your life (the lack of connection to your friends) then it will divert resources away from non-essential systems (digestion and reproduction) into the more immediate survival systems (heart and muscles). Acupuncture gives your nervous system the space to switch from the stress response (sympathetic nervous system) to the rest, digest and reproduce mode (parasympathetic). We are letting your brain know that it is safe to be pregnant, to birth a child and to have a little person in the cave with you.

It's not just egg meets sperm

As an acupuncturist, I will ask about the length of your cycle and the colour of the blood. I will enquire about any clots, bloating or PMS. But I will also look at your digestive system, stress levels and quality of your sleep. I use the wisdom of traditional medicine to look at you as a whole rather than just at how your reproductive system is working. It takes around 100 days for an egg to develop to the point of ovulation, so the work that you put in now will have an effect on your egg quality in 3-4 months time - and the same applies to sperm quality.

Your pain is real

I combine acupuncture with Somato-Emotional release so that you have someone outside of your partner who is a safe space for your emotions. You may need someone who will listen without trying to talk you out of your feelings, and who will validate your physical and emotional journey.

When you have been trying to conceive for some time, there may come a point when it feels like you can't move for pregnancy announcements, cute bumps, or new babies. The “I'm happy for you” can start to become a source of pain as you are constantly being reminded of what you don't have and can't control. Seeing a therapist will allow you to be honest about your feelings so you don't have to keep the 'I'm fine' smile on.

You don't have to power through it

Putting a brave face on, or being super busy in order to bury your emotions becomes exhausting. The positive affirmations that you have read feel empty because they mean you are not acknowledging what you're really feeling. You may need somewhere safe to explore any anxiety, frustration, jealousy or isolation. It's normal to have the immediate fear of “what if it doesn't work this month?” to “what if it never works?”. And, it is possible to feel fear and hope, joy and anxiety all at the same time.

Sharing your story is healing

There is an energetic price to pay for harbouring emotional pain; by safely releasing, processing or transforming it you can free energy for health and vitality. I tend to use a tailored combination of acupuncture with Somato-Emotional release. This helps you to make changes to your physical, mental and emotional health. It will give you space to reflects on any lifestyle changes you might like to make, and allow you to take off your mask and process your buried feelings.

So, in short, acupuncture is thought to:

I have been supporting couples (mostly women because they tend to want to try everything possible to boost their chances of pregnancy) since 1999. If you don't know where to start, or are tentatively trying again after a miscarriage, or are looking for acupuncture to support you through your IVF process then give me a call to see how fertility acupuncture can help you, or book an acupuncture session and we can start working together to promote your fertility and nourish your overall well-being.

Frequently asked questions

How many times per week should I have fertility acupuncture?
Ideally, you would come once a week for a month, then we can drop it down to fortnightly with some self-care in between sessions. But we are flexible and want to make it as accessible as possible so we will go work with whatever works best for you.
When should I start fertility acupuncture?
The egg and sperm take around 3 months to be produced, so ideally you would start 3 months before you were thinking of trying to conceive. Most clients book in when they realise they need some support.
Can I have acupuncture alongside IVF?
Most IVF clinics recommend acupuncture alongside IVF. Some of our clients are having acupuncture while trying naturally then continue the sessions when they transition to IVF, and some start acupuncture when they start their IVF protocol.

Ready to talk? Call us now to discuss your needs, or book an appointment.