Acupuncture can work in several ways to help you become pregnant. It is important that you and your partner have been screened medically to asses you physical ability to conceive. If there is a physical impairment like blocked fallopian tubes it may not be possible conceive without medical intervention. If this is the case acupuncture may be able to help by increasing your chances with IVF.
Many people find becoming pregnant a very stressful time and indeed a tense state is not likely to lead to pregnancy. The body recognises the conditions required for a successful pregnancy, just like a plant will only germinate when the temperature and moisture levels are suitable, so being in the correct relaxed mental state is all important. This is where acupuncture can be of great help and often induces a state of well being and relaxation.
Acupuncture will also help to optimise your bodies systems to ensure your physical and mental function is the best it can be to help with not only with conception but a healthy pregnancy and baby
This is not by any means the only benefit from acupuncture. Research has shown that poor sperm count and motility can be improved with acupuncture.
Research has also shown that there can be an increase in blood flow to the ovaries resulting in an increased chance of ovulation and therefore pregnancy.
By understanding the Menstrual Cycle, conception becomes far less random and greatly increases your chance of success. It is regarded that an average menstrual cycle last 28 days. Day 1 the start of menstruation (when bleeding begins). Day 14 would normally be the day that ovulation takes place. An egg is produced in one of your ovaries which then passes down the respective fallopian tube to hopefully meet with sperm in the uterus.
It is common to monitor your temperature during fertility treatment, as a small rise in your body temperature (about 0.2dC) may be noticed at the time of ovulation. This being the sign of the beginning of your most fertile period.
This can be a very useful tool to help with conception, but not always. Being too intense can reduce your chances of success, turning the process into a military procedure. We will asses each case and discuss the various options on an individual basis.
Pain may also be felt at the time of ovulation which we call Mittelschmerz. The pain is one sided, dependant on which ovary is producing an egg. It may last for a few moments or as long as several days. It is normal and does not require treatment and happens in about 20% of women.
About 50% of healthy couples get pregnant after 4-5 months
70% get pregnant after 9 months
85% get pregnant after one year.
Below is a chart to help identify your most fertile time
|Cycle length||Ovulation||Most fertile|
|22||Day 8||Days 7-9|
|23||Day 9||Days 8-10|
|24||Day 10||Days 9-11|
|25||Day 11||Days 10-12|
|26||Day 12||Days 11-13|
|27||Day 13||Days 12-14|
|28||Day 14||Days 13-15|
|29||Day 15||Days 14-16|
|30||Day 16||Days 15-17|
|31||Day 17||Days 16-18|
|32||Day 18||Days 17-19|
|33||Day 19||Days 18-20|
|34||Day 20||Days 19-21|
|35||Day 21||Days 20-22|
|36||Day 22||Days 21-23|
The Basal Body Temperature Chart Hormonal causes of biphasic patterns
The higher levels of oestrogen present during the pre-ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle lower BBTs. The higher levels of progesterone released by the corpus luteum after ovulation raise BBTs. The rise in temperatures can most commonly be seen the day after ovulation, but this varies and BBTs can only be used to estimate ovulation within a three day range.
If pregnancy does not occur, the disintegration of the corpus luteum causes a drop in BBTs that roughly coincides with the onset of the next menstruation. If pregnancy does occur, the corpus luteum continues to function (and maintain high BBTs) for the first trimester of the pregnancy. After the first trimester, the woman’s body temperature drops to her pre-ovulatory normal as the placenta takes over functions previously performed by the corpus luteum.
Very rarely, the corpus luteum may form a cyst. A corpus luteum cyst will cause BBTs to stay elevated and prevent menstruation from occurring until it resolves which could take weeks or months.
While trying to conceive
Regular menstrual cycles are often taken as evidence that a woman is ovulating normally, and irregular cycles is evidence she is not. However, many women with irregular cycles do ovulate normally, and some with regular cycles are actually anovulatory or have a luteal phase defect. Records of basal body temperatures can be used to accurately determine if a woman is ovulating, and if the length of the post-ovulatory (luteal) phase of her menstrual cycle is sufficient to sustain a pregnancy. Some fertility computers and software can help a woman to determine these factors.
Pregnancy tests are not accurate until 2-3 weeks after ovulation. Knowing an estimated date of ovulation can prevent a woman from getting false negative results due to testing too early. Also, 18 consecutive days of elevated temperatures means a woman is almost certainly pregnant.
This chart records the change in temperature that occurs after ovulation. It cannot predict when ovulation will occur in a given cycle, but by looking at records from a few cycles you can notice a pattern from which ovulation can be estimated.
Recording your Temperature on a BBT Chart
The best way to record and monitor body temperature is with a BBT chart. This chart also includes an area to record your Cervical Mucus assessments. A BBT chart provides a good visual basis for determining ovulation:
- Make sure that day one on the chart is the first day of menstruation.
- Every morning, before getting out of bed or going to the bathroom, take your temperature. The use of special basal body thermometers is highly recommended for accurate results. Also, the same thermometer should be used every time.
- Make note of any lack of sleep, drinking alcohol, fever, illness, or emotional stress. It is also helpful to describe the condition of any mucus or discharge.
Just after ovulation, there should be a rise of approximately (about 0.2 degrees Celsius). The day of ovulation there will be a slight temperature shift. The following two days will climb progressively higher. The rise on the day of ovulation is not distinguishable from the normal ups and downs in the entire pre-ovulatory phase. It is only recognized in retrospect when it forms an upward line with the two days afterward. The post-ovulatory temperatures remain at this new, higher level, until menses when they drop and start the cycle over again. If you are pregnant, your basal body temperature will stay at an elevated level. Due to the fact that the temperature shift happens during ovulation, if you are trying to get pregnant, charting your bbt for at least two months will be necessary so you can determine the point BEFORE ovulation when you are most fertile Follow this link for an overview of how an ovulation predictor might assist you. .http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/?id=14987
Cervical Mucus Monitoring
The presence and tactile consistency of your cervical mucus undergoes a number of changes during your menstrual cycle. By observing changes in cervical fluid, you can predict ovulation – your most fertile time for conceiving a baby.
One of the purposes of cervical mucus during ovulation is to sustain the sperm in a healthy medium and to allow it to move freely through the cervix. Logically, there will be an increase in cervical mucus at ovulation, as well as a change in texture – the mucus becomes more clear, “stretchable”, and slippery.
If you are considering acupuncture please be aware that you and your partner may need at least 3 months of weekly treatments to achieve optimal health. It is important to remember that it takes two to make a baby. Male infertility is a factor in 40-50% of infertility cases. Research has shown that acupuncture is affective in improving sperm motility, mobility and morphology. l
Assisted Reproductive Therapies
Acupuncture can be used to support ART, it also helps the body to deal with the side effects of the drugs and relieve some of the stress and anxiety which is inevitable with this type of treatment.Ideally, three months of regular treatment is advised before an IVF cycle. During this time the menstrual cycle is regulated, the uterus is nourished and the egg quality is improved. Generally treatment is weekly during the cycle, before egg collection and before and after embryo transfer.