Acupuncture and pregnancy
Can acupuncture help with pregnancy? That can be considered as two different questions.
Either, it is questioning if acupuncture can increase your chances of getting pregnant? Or, it is asking if acupuncture can help reduce side-effects during pregnancy?
We explore both questions and see what the evidence suggests.
Does acupuncture help with fertility?
Undoubtedly, the causes of infertility can be contentious. Moreover, it is often a cause of friction between couples.
However, some exciting evidence came out a little over a decade ago. This news was reported in many of the mainstream newspapers including the Guardian.
It pointed to research that suggested acupuncture might be beneficial. In particular, the research showed that it could improve IVF success rates by 65%.
And the report was not to be taken lightly. It was published in the British Medical Journal, a reputable publication.
There were, of course, some members of the scientific community who were dubious. They suggested that the effect may have been related to placebo.
But ironically, they inferred that the placebo effect of acupuncture helped women relax. And as a result of being more relaxed, they were better able to get pregnant.
In fact, this seems to bolster the argument for acupuncture. Part of the reason it can help is that it can help to reduce stress. In addition, it can help to improve blood flow and balance hormones. Clearly, any of these three effects could be beneficial in the process.
Whilst there is no definitive view taken by scientists as a whole, many women attest to the success of the treatment.
Can it help reduce the negative side-effects of pregnancy
The majority of women suffer from morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. In fact, it is reported in as many as 70% of pregnancies during the first trimester.
It can be attributed to many things. But one of the leading causes is the high levels of pregnancy hormones.
There are a number of things that you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. For example, eating smaller meals but more frequently, avoiding trigger smells, and eating ginger. But none of these tackle the problem at the source.
The great thing about acupuncture is that it can help rebalance these hormones. And again, there is scientific evidence to support this. As the NCBI published paper concludes,
‘Acupuncture is an effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy’.
In addition, acupuncture can help with other issues during pregnancy. It can help relieve lower back pain and pelvic pain.
It can also promote better sleep, help to combat headaches and help to ease depression.
A final word
We understand that the choices you make before and during pregnancy are a big deal. We also understand that getting the right sort of treatment is vital.
To discuss some of the ways that acupuncture can help in more detail, contact us. We will be more than happy to discuss it in more detail.