Victoria has a particular interest in fertility and as such has undergone further post graduate training in acupuncture for fertility and assisted reproductive therapy (ART).
Having her practice at home enables Victoria the flexibility to schedule appointments outside of usual clinic hours to coincide with critical times in the menstrual cycle or to accommodate the timings of various ART procedures.
Fertility problems affect about 1 in 7 couples in the UK. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that couples who have not been able to get pregnant after 2 years of regular unprotected sexual intercourse are classified as having a fertility problem. However, most doctors currently offer couples initial tests after one year.
For most couples the cause of their fertility problems can be identified but for about 20% of couples, even after the most exhaustive tests, they are given the label of ‘unexplained infertility’ as no obvious cause can be found.
About 30% of couples experiencing difficulty conceiving will have a male factor as the cause.
Acupuncture & Natural Fertility
Chinese diagnosis can often reveal imbalances in the internal climate that inhibit conception or implantation, acupuncture can address those imbalances which may result in a natural conception.
Acupuncture for fertility will be aimed at regulating the menstrual cycle and alleviate any untoward symptoms that accompany the period such as PMT, scanty or excessive bleeds, irregular cycles, mid cycle or intramenstrual bleeds, headaches, cramping, back ache. Regulating the function of the menstrual cycle will help to enhance receptivity of the uterus and the quality of the ovum (eggs waiting to ovulate).
Acupuncture is an excellent support for women who have endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, PCOS or fibroids.
Acupuncture and Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART)
ART ranges from simple interventions such as fertility drugs to more complicated procedures such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Acupuncture can be used to support couples undergoing different forms of ART. It is effective in helping you cope with the often stressful procedures and to relieve any side effects of the medication. Studies have shown that stress can adversely affect success rates of IVF treatments and that acupuncture can play an important role in lowering stress levels (1). Acupuncture can be used to support patients attempting intrauterine insertion (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and ICSI procedures.
Ideally acupuncture treatment should start 3 months prior to ART in order to address any underlying imbalances and ensure the body is in the best shape possible before procedures begin.
In 30% of cases of infertility the cause is in the man alone. In 60% of these it is unexplained. There is no simple drug treatments to increase sperm count or improve motility or morphology but studies have shown that acupuncture can postitively affect these factors (2).
(1) Balk, J. et al (2010): The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study. Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice, 16(3); 154-157
(2) Pel, J. et al (2005): Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility & Sterility, 84(1); 141-147