Fertility & Pregnancy
Female and male fertility treatments
The Norwich Acupuncture Rooms provides acupuncture, dietary advice, and treatment for male and female fertility, as well as treatment to support IVF. The British Acupuncture Council (the regulatory body for acupuncturists) explains how acupuncture may benefit fertility.
There are many research studies into acupuncture which show very promising results and suggest that acupuncture may help in various areas relating to fertility and conception:
• Irregular menstrual cycle
• Reducing stress by activating the para-sympathetic nervous system (the relaxed state). High stress levels are associated with reduced conception
• Improvement of blood circulation to the reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus, allowing them to work as efficiently as possible
• Increasing endometrial thickness by maximising blood circulation to the uterus
• Helping to trigger ovulation in some women with ovulatory problems
• Helping women with PCOS, endometriosis, period pain, pelvic inflammation
• Improving sperm count, and motility
Reduced fertility of unknown origin
A couple’s fertility depends on many factors, such as constitution, age, lifestyle, diet and stress levels. If there is no diagnosed reason for infertility (male or female), acupuncture aims to strengthen both partners’ constitution and create a harmonious environment for conception. Your acupuncturist will also have a close look at your diet and lifestyle and may make individual suggestions on ways to improve them. If there is a known reason for infertility, acupuncture can also be used, sometimes in conjunction with medical interventions.
Acupuncture to support IUI / IVF / ICSI treatment
Acupuncture can be used as a support for all stages of IUI, IVF and ICSI treatment. Among other things, it could help minimise side effects of drugs, such as nausea and headaches. The Norwich Acupuncture Team can offer a pre and post embryo transfer treatment at a set fee.
Acupuncture in pregnancy
Acupuncture Childbirth Team East Anglia (ACT)
Founded by Rebecca Geanty, The Acupuncture for Childbirth Team (ACT) East Anglia is an established group of acupuncture practitioners who share a particular interest in the use of acupuncture for fertility and in pregnancy and labour. Its aim is to promote the use and to increase the availability of traditional acupuncture prior to conception, during pregnancy, labour and the post-natal period.
All ACT East Anglia practitioners are members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and are familiar with labour and maternity facilities in the region.
“I had acupuncture from an ACT practitioner throughout my second two pregnancies. I really noticed a difference with my energy levels for these pregnancies compared to the first pregnancy. The labours were also much easier. I’m now pregnant again and I am definitely going to have treatment throughout this pregnancy, labour and post-natally.”
Acupuncture treatment during pregnancy, and particularly during times when symptoms are experienced, aims to smooth the flow of energy, to promote your general health and can be effective for pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. It is used to support women after a miscarriage. In the third tri-mester acupuncture can be used to prepare a women for birth and is often used to encourage the natural onset of labour.
Acupressure in labour
Acupressure is a safe and effective tool for labour that the birthing women and her partner can use. In couples interviewed the men stated that Acupressure was their most used and valued tool, women found it to give them confidence and control, and a sense that they could "do something" to facilitate their labour. A Cochrane review of 13 trials, 1986 women concluded that:
- Acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve labour pain.
"Had a fabulous session with Rebecca yesterday with my husband learning how acupressure can help with labour. Hubs felt more confident he could do it at the end of the session and if it helps even half as much as the acupuncture did with our quest to get pregnant it will be excellent." Becca Reynolds Norwich
From week 36, more regular, weekly treatments can be given to harmonise the mother’s energy and to focus on the process of preparation for labour. A pre Birth acupuncture Audit carried out by Betts and Lennox 2004 concluded that that there was a reduction in medical inductions, Epidurals and Caesarean sections which was unlikely to be down to chance.
Foetal positioning and breech births
In China, where acupuncture originated, moxibustion (the smouldering of the herb artemisia vulgaris latiflora) has traditionally been used to encourage the baby to turn into a head-down position for labour.
Supporting the natural onset of labour: acupuncture induction
Women often come to see us near or past their due date to receive acupuncture treatment to balance their energy and encourage the natural onset of labour, prior to a medical induction.
Multi-bed acupuncture at the Norwich Acupuncture Rooms lends itself as the perfect environment for pre-birth and acupuncture for natural inductions. You can have acupuncture treatment in the same room as other people, this means that acupuncture can be affordable at £24 per session, this is a very popular option please phone about 2 weeks before you would like treatment to commence.
Acupuncture during labour
Traditional acupuncturists believe that labour can be a natural process in which the progression is directed by the flow of energy in the mother’s body and the optimum position of the baby. Ideally labour should move smoothly from one stage to another. This does not mean that the labour is painless, but that the contractions are efficient, so that the mother does not become exhausted and can remain calm and in control.
Acupuncture in labour works towards this ideal. In the early stages of labour, the insertion of needles and acupressure can be used to smooth the flow of energy to support the efficiency of contractions. Acupuncture and acupressure can also be used during the transition between the first and second stages of labour. Once the baby has been born, acupuncture can be used to assist the physiological third stage – the delivery of the placenta. Acupuncture treatment in labour can be used in conjunction with conventional methods of pain relief and will often complement their effectiveness.
Chinese medicine emphasises that the post-natal period (approximately the first 40 days after birth) is a time when it is essential that the mother conserves her energy and regains her lost reserves. Without proper care during this time, the risk of poor milk supply, prolonged depression and exhaustion may be increased. The ancient Chinese counselled that during this post-natal period the mother should stay at home and be attended by family, so that she could concentrate on the baby and herself.
Although this level of support is not likely to be available nowadays, acupuncture can help in this important period to balance body and mind and improve wellbeing. Post-natal treatment commonly involves moxa treatment in addition to needles. Moxa is believed to be very nourishing to the mother, particularly in her abdominal area. The use of moxa can be taught to the mother, so that she can continue treatment at home.
ACT East Anglia also provides advice and treatment for:
- Breast feeding
- Acupuncture for the production of breast milk.
To book a treatment for fertility or pregnancy, please call: 01603 514195.
To find out about hypno-birthing with Molly the Midwife and to see our full range or other Pregnancy services go to treat-Norwich