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Acupuncture on its own or a combination with Kampo -
Japanese Herbal Medicine (or Chinese Herbal
Medicine) has been used in fertility treatments in
Japan and China for centuries.
In recent years, combining acupuncture with Assisted
Reproductive Technology (ART) is becoming almost
a norm in the west as well because more and more
modern scientific research has shown its benefits and effectiveness such as below.
According to the German study published in 2002 (Fertility and Sterility), clinical pregnancies were achieved in 42.5% of women with acupuncture done pre- and post- embryo transfer, compared to only 26.3% in women with no-acupuncture.
In addition, the preliminary trials published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2008 suggest that when acupuncture is given to women who are undergoing IVF, the pregnancy rate was increased by 65%. You can review some other research details here.
How does Acupuncture and Kampo work on fertility enhancement?
Acupuncture and Kampo treatments are designed, taking into account of your specific conditions, to improve your overall health and the environment of the reproductive system, and promote deep relaxation in order to achieve a healthy conception and beyond. Acupuncture and/or Kampo may well treat contributing factors to infertility, such as PCOS, endometriosis, high FSH and so forth and optimise your chances of conception, whether naturally or when combined with ART.
Acupuncture may stimulate secretion of certain hormones, which influence the menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility.
Acupuncture may stimulate Qi and Blood flow to the reproductive organs and hence endometrial receptivity for implantation of an embryo may be optimised.
Acupuncture helps you to relax and rejuvenate the body and mind, which help to bring the all the systems in balance.
Certain conditions are better treated with Kampo or acupuncture & Kampo combined rather than acupuncture alone.
I often combine acupuncture and Kampo for fertility enhancement treatments and use acupuncture alongside ART. During an IVF cycle, it is said that the number of follicles may be possibly increased when rice grain moxa and/or electro acupuncture on certain acupuncture points are performed. Therefore, I often apply both in my treatments.
Furthermore, I believe that there are things you can do at home to improve your over all physical and emotional health by changing your lifestyle, such as diet, exercises, stress management, clothing, etc.. I will go through some suggestions with you about these during the consultation.
After pregnancy is established, I normally recommend weekly treatments until 12 ~ 13 weeks for maintaining the healthy pregnancy. Please see Pregnancy Page for more details.
Atsuko Fritz- Acupuncture & Kampo | Chiswick, London