Acupuncture is a well recognized complementary and alternative medicine that has started in the Eastern part of the world and now conquering Western medicine. It has been found to be effective in the management of certain conditions such as back pains, migraine, menstrual problems, smoking cessation and others. Other than these, recent research also has found that acupuncture is also beneficial for the management of infertility.
The principle of acupuncture is to balance the chi inside the body. The chi is the energy that flows in our system and any obstruction or impediments in its flow may lead to certain illnesses. Acupuncture uses fine needles to release the chi and maintain a positive and well balanced energy flow to provide optimum well being. The eastern practice of acupuncture that dates back to thousands of years ago lack the scientific backup for the practice of acupuncture, but in this era, doctors and acupuncturists have established the reason as to why acupuncture work in the treatment of various ailments. In regard to infertility, the practice of acupuncture is also supported by various studies.
Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the central nervous system and the ability of the body to release neurohormones. These neurohormones play an important part to fertility and reproduction. The different hormone in the body that is responsible for fertility such as estrogen in women and testosterone in men is mediated by these neurohormones. When they become stimulated through acupuncture, the body’s ability to produce the reproductive hormones is also improved. As a result, the following reproductive problems are addressed:
- Irregular ovulation- Women get higher chances of producing egg cells through the regularization of estrogen levels.
- Structural problems in men- Men tend to have more improved erections and enhanced flow of sperm in the sperm ducts.
- Cellular problems in men and women- Both men and women also benefit from healthier egg cell and sperm cell production for higher chances of fertilization.
All of these effects are also indirectly linked to improved circulation to the reproductive organs. Acupuncture not only improves the production of neurohormones, but also improves blood flow to the different areas of the body. When circulation and oxygenation is enhanced in the reproductive system, then the organs are more likely to function optimally.
In addition to the direct effect of acupuncture in stimulating the reproductive function of a person, it also helps people who are infertile to be free from stress. Stress is one of the most common causes of infertility. With acupuncture, a hormone called endorphin is released. This hormone is a naturally occurring anti-stress chemical in the body and promotes a feeling of inner sense of well-being.
Adjunct Managements for Infertility
Aside from acupuncture, most acupuncturists may also prescribe herbs that may help improve fertility. These herbs specially focus on managing pelvic inflammatory diseases that may lead to blockage of the ovaries and fallopian tubes in women as well as the sperm ducts in men.
Despite these effects of acupuncture to fertility, there is still no strong evidence to support such. Nevertheless, acupuncture does not pose serious side effects so if you are considering getting one, talk to your health care provider for proper guidance.