Fertility

In recent years more and more people have become aware of the importance of lifestyle issues for both women and men prior to conception, and the positive effect that Acupuncture may have on enhancing fertility.

There are many ways that Acupuncture may enhance fertility. It may

  • regulate periods
  • regulate hormones
  • increase blood flow to the uterus and thus improve the endometrial lining
  • reduce stress and anxiety which have a negative effect on fertility
  • improve sperm count, motility and morphology
  • treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis
  • reduce the risk of miscarriage and treat recurrent miscarriages.

Picture of pregnent womanIn 2008 the British Medical Journal published a report stating that Acupuncture can increase the success rate of IVF treatment by up to 65%.

When treating alongside Assisted Conception (IVF, ICSI, IUI) Acupuncture may be used to

  • prepare for the physical and emotional events that will be taking place
  • reduce the unwanted effects of the drugs used
  • improve ovarian function, leading to higher follicle production and better quality eggs
  • improve embryo quality
  • improve the quality of the endometrium
  • strengthen the immune system
  • reduce the chance of miscarriage

One of the most important ways in which Acupuncture may enhance fertility is to treat the stress that is inevitably involved along the way, and which may cause a barrier to conception. It cannot be overestimated how stressful fertility problems are, and unfortunately, this is an area which western medicine does not usually address. Fortunately Chinese medicine most definitely does. Treatment allows you the space to talk and be heard, to offload what’s on your mind, to have a good cry if you feel like it (tissues are in plentiful supply!) or just to switch off and relax for an hour.

When treating fertility it is ideal to treat both partners, as each one makes up 50% of the hoped for baby, and therefore ideally both will be in optimum reproductive health when conception takes place. When I am treating women for fertility issues I like to treat once a week for the first four treatments, if not the first eight (depending on the individual), followed by fortnightly treatment, generally pre and post ovulation. When I am treating men for fertility issues I like to treat once a week for the first four treatments, then fortnightly for two treatments and then move on to monthly treatments. When I am treating a woman who is undergoing Assisted Conception then treatment will be given in conjunction with each step of her procedure, and on the day of embryo transfer treatment is offered pre and post transfer. I can then continue treatment throughout the pregnancy, if required.

Male Fertility

Male factor accounts for nearly 50% of problems conceiving. It takes 100 days for new sperm to regenerate and a lot of positive change may be achieved during this three month period.

Clients that I work with are advised to make lifestyle and dietary changes (where necessary), and receive regular Acupuncture treatment during this time (to put your minds at rest, needles are never placed in genitalia!). Improvements may be made in sperm count, motility and morphology and these are often areas that western medicine is unable to help with. Again, there can be a huge amount of stress and emotional involvement with male factor fertility issues and this is an area which Acupuncture may address very successfully.

The Zita West Network for Reproductive Health

This is an exciting new initiative in reproductive healthcare, led by acclaimed Midwife, Acupuncturist, author and fertility and pregnancy consultant, Zita West, and her renowned medical and complementary health team.

It brings together the collective knowledge and expertise of Zita’s clinic in London – the largest and most successful integrated reproductive health practice in the UK – with that of talented complementary health professionals across the country.

As a founding member of this network I have received training in Zita’s unique, holistic approach to achieving optimum reproductive health, as well as instruction in the relevant acupuncture protocols followed at her London clinic. These cover a wide range of treatments to help boost fertility, enhance IVF, improve pregnancy and support post-natal recovery. I also have access to the Clinic and other members of the network for consultation and general advice.

By choosing a Zita West Affiliated Acupuncturist you not only receive the benefit of my individual expertise, and the experience of other network members, but the benefit of the unique training and support that comes from Zita and her colleagues too.

The Zita West Clinic helps thousands of women and men each year, at every stage of the reproductive cycle. This provides it with an unrivalled breadth and depth of knowledge, plus a wonderful tool-bag of diagnostic techniques and solutions, to be shared with members of the network and their clients.

As an Affiliated Practitioner I also have exclusive access to a range of Zita West factsheets containing valuable advice on how to improve various aspects of you and your partner’s reproductive health, all of which are provided to clients free of charge.

Clients are also entitled to a fantastic range of exclusive discounts and special offers on Zita West products such as best-selling books and multivitamins.

Pregnancy

Picture of baby's feetAcupuncture is a very safe treatment to have throughout pregnancy, and many of the people I have treated for fertility have continued to have treatment with me once they have become pregnant.

This may be to maintain the feeling of health and wellbeing that they have become used to, to reduce the risk of miscarriage or to address pregnancy related conditions such as morning sickness, heartburn, bowel problems, haemorrhoids, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and sciatica, symphysis pubis pain, anaemia, cramps, insomnia, water retention and if the baby is not growing sufficiently.

It may also be used to treat any anxieties that may be felt prior to birth.

Once the baby (or babies) have been born, Acupuncture may be used to treat breastfeeding problems, post-natal depression, persistent lochia, afterpains, urinary problems, perineal soreness and to strengthen and nourish the mother, especially if there has been heavy blood loss or trauma associated with giving birth.

In short, Acupuncture may be used every step of the way!

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