7 Ways Acupressure And Acupuncture Improve Fertility

acupressure for fertility

Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate points around the body to activate the nervous, endocrine and neuroendocrine systems to produce chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. Acupuncture helps the body to get back into homeostasis (or balance) and heal naturally. Acupressure is like acupuncture, but without the needles. You use your thumb or finger to stimulate the points.

Research shows that acupressure and acupuncture can improve fertility in specific ways. Doctors are using acupuncture and acupressure alongside conventional medicine to treat infertility and increase IVF success rates. Here are some of the ways that acupuncture and acupressure can improve fertility.

  1. Improve Egg Quality

Stress constricts blood flow to arteries in the pelvis, which means that blood flow to the ovaries is reduced. 

Acupuncture and acupressure switch off fight or flight and improve blood flow to ovarian arteries, which improves follicle development and egg quality. Egg quality is improved becasue the ovaries get more blood, therefore, the follicles get more nutirents. (Stener-Victorin 2006, Lim 2010).

  1. Balance hormones

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that sends messages via the pituitary gland to the ovaries. Feedback loops between the brain and the ovaries ensure that the right amount of hormones are produced at the right time for ovulation, fertilisation and implantation. Stress, toxins and other factors can disrupt hormones and cause infertility. 

Acupuncture and acupressure release endorphins in the brain, which activate the hypothalamus to produce gonadotrophin-releasing hormones, the pituitary to secrete follicle-stimulating hormone and the ovaries to produce oestrogen and progesterone (Ng 2008, Huang 2008, Lim 2010, Stener-Victorin 2010). 

  1. Increase Womb Lining And Implantation

The womb lining needs to be at least 8mm for implantation and pregnancy. Stress, diet, toxins and hormonal imbalances can create a thin womb lining.

Acupuncture and acupressure improve blood flow to the womb, which increases the thickness of the womb lining and supports implantation (Stener-Victorin 1996, Huang 2008).

  1. Improve Male Fertility

Male factor infertility can include problems with sperm quality, sperm quantity, testosterone, obstruction or ejaculation.

Research shows that acupuncture and acupressure can help with circulation and increasing blood flow around the testes to improve sperm development. Studies show that acupuncture and acupressure can increase testosterone, improve sex drive and reduce impotence. (Pei 2005 and Dieterle 2009).

  1. Reduce PCOS Symptoms

PCOS is one of the main conditions that stop women from getting pregnant. PCOS symptoms include disputed hormones, cysts on the ovaries, no ovulation and long or irregular cycles. 

Acupuncture and acupressure can help PCOS by reducing stress hormones, balancing sex hormones, reducing cysts, stimulating ovulation and regulating the cycle (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2009, Zhang 2009).

  1. Reduce Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis is where endometrial tissue is found outside of the womb, normally in the pelvis. The endometrial cells outside of the womb are affected by changes in hormones, they bleed, create inflammation and form cysts. This creates a lot of pain, blockages and digestive issues.

Research shows that acupuncture and acupressure can significantly reduce endometriosis pain, increase cytokines and reduce inflammation (Zijlstra 2003, Wayne 2008 and Jin 2009).

  1. Improve IVF Success

The chances of having a successful birth from IVF can range from 2%-30% depending on a woman’s age and situation. In the UK it can cost between £3000-£5000 and in America, it’s around $15,000. 

Research shows that having acupuncture and acupressure before and after embryo transfer can increase pregnancy rates by 60% and reduce the number of miscarriages by 50% (Paulus 2002 and Quintero 2004).

Conclusion

In China randomised controlled trials have shown significantly better pregnancy rates for acupuncture than medication, however, more research is needed and higher-quality trials need to be carried out.

In loving support,

Rachel xx

Whenever you're ready...here are 3 ways I can help you.

1. Are you looking for a place to GET STARTED?
Join the Facebook group. In our closed Facebook group you'll get fertility tips, research and inspiration. It's private so only the women in the group will know you've joined.
2. Have you been TRYING FOR LESS THAN 6 MONTHS and want to make a few quick and easy changes to get your body ready for pregnancy. Join the 1 Month Plan online course or learn Acupressure For Fertility or Acupressure For IVF.
3. Have you been TRYING FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS and want a customised plan to get pregnant?
Join the Membership or get 1-2-1 coaching. Get your Personal Plan and the exact steps you need to take to balance your hormones, improve your womb lining and increase your egg quality.

Not sure? Book a Discovery Session.

References

Stener-Victorin E, Humaidan P. (2006)Â Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer.Acupunct Med. 2006 Dec;24(4):157-63.

Lim CE, Wong WS. (2010)Â Current evidence of acupuncture on polycystic ovarian syndrome.Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Mar 16.

Stener-Victorin E, Wu X. Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in the reproductive system. Auton Neurosci. 2010 Mar 27.

Ng EH, So WS, Gao J, Wong YY, Ho PC. The role of acupuncture in the management of subfertility. Fertil Steril. 2008 Jul;90(1):1-13.

Huang ST, Chen AP. Traditional Chinese medicine and infertility. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Jun;20(3):211-5.

Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7.

Zhang WY, Huang GY, Liu J. [Influences of acupuncture on infertility of rats with polycystic ovarian syndrome] [in Chinese] Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2009 Nov;29(11):997-1000.

Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Mannerås L. Acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: current experimental and clinical evidence. J Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Mar;20(3):290-8.

Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Tägnfors U, Lundeberg T, Lindstedt G, Janson PO. Effects of electro-acupuncture on anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome  Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000 Mar;79(3):180-8.

Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Janson PO, Sverrisdottir YB. Low-frequency electroacupuncture and physical exercise decrease high muscle sympathetic nerve activity in polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Aug;297(2):R387-95.

Dieterle S et al. A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Fertility and Sterility2009; 92: 1340-3.

Pei J et al. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility2005; 84: 141-7.

Zijlstra FJ et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm2003 ;12: 59-69.

Wayne PM et al. Japanese-style acupuncture for endometriosis-related pelvic pain in adolescents and young women: results of a randomized sham-controlled trial. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol2008; 21(5): 247-57.

Jin YB et al. [Randomized controlled study on ear-electroacupuncture treatment of endometriosis-induced dysmenorrhea in patients].Zhen Ci Yan Jiu2009; 34(3): 188-92.

Paulus WE1, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K.(2002) Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4.

Quintero R.(2004) A randomized, controlled, double-blind, cross-over study evaluating acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF. Fertility And Sterility, April 2004 Volume 81, Supplement 3, Pages 11–12.

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emma william
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emma william

It was an awesome feeling when i found out that i am pregnant, i could not believe myself, after trying for 5 years now, finally i have been able to be called a proud mother of my baby boy. my husband is glad too, by standing by my side all through the struggles of infertility with strong feeling we will achieve this together. i am giving this hint to couples who are struggling with infertility, your time as come as well, with the help of Dr Micheal Casper pregnancy medicine [email protected]