During the course of the menstrual cycle, the composition of your hormones constantly changes. This natural process can be disturbed for many reasons. Acupuncture is very suitable to restore the balance in this process as it can influence and regulate the production of hormones.
Acupuncture can be used for:
too long or too short menstrual cycle
irregular menstrual cycle
when the menstrual cycle fails completely
too little or too heavy bleeding
Menopause can last a long time. Some symptoms can be reduced by changing lifestyle and diet. But if this cannot or does not provide enough help enough, it is nice to know that acupuncture can support in this process and can be a good substitute for hormonal therapies.
Acupuncture can be used for:
⁃ Hot flushes that may occur both during the day and at night. Sleep may start to suffer causing fatigue. Not being able to sleep through a few nights is usually not an issue, however, if this continues for weeks, months or even longer, chronic fatigue develops.
⁃ Heat flare-ups can go to the head and cause dizziness, tinnitus, migraines and even increased blood pressure.
⁃ Osteoporosis: this can cause problems in the joints and spine.
⁃ Hormone decline also affects digestion. The functioning of the stomach and intestines may change, causing weight gain.
⁃ Mucous membranes of skin, bladder and vagina become drier, so infections occur easily.
⁃ Emotional complaints may surface, such as stress sensitivity, irritability, moodiness, heaviness, agitation, or anxiety. When sleep disturbances are present for a long time, these atypical symptoms may increase.
⁃ Less energy, fatigue
Having a child does not come naturally to all couples. Unfortunately, more and more women and men have fertility problems. According to the World Health Organisation, about 15 percent of couples of childbearing age seek help to get pregnant.
A lot of couples make frantic attempts to get pregnant. This often brings a lot of disappointment, sadness and stress.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture treatments initially aim to improve the conditions for getting pregnant. The idea is to build the 'foundation' properly first. Without a good 'foundation', the chances of getting pregnant are reduced.
⁃ regulate the menstrual cycle
⁃ stimulate egg cell production
⁃ improve egg quality
⁃ stimulate ovulation
⁃ stimulate the thickness and blood flow of the endometrium
⁃ support embryo implantation
⁃ reduce the risk of miscarriage
In cases of reduced male fertility, herbs are used to improve sperm quality.
How does the treatment proceed?
Time is spent on your story: "since when have you wanted to get pregnant”, “what tests have already been done”, “have there been any miscarriages", etc.
Then then we’ll take a closer look to your menstrual cycle: "is there much or little bleeding”, “is the cycle regular”, “is there any pain", etc
An effective way to get an even better view of the cycle is to keep a temperature curve. This helps identify where in your cycle things might be going wrong.
Treatments are tailored to your menstrual cycle and will follow the phases of your cycle. That is, different points will be treated at different times.
Besides acupuncture, it is often necessary to supplement with herbs.
It is also important to look at your eating habits and lifestyle together. If necessary, you will be given tips and advice on things you can change in your daily life.
The treatments are very calm and relaxed, with time for discussion.
When couples are already engaged in fertility treatment at the hospital, acupuncture can help increase the chances of success.
At the first appointment, a comprehensive history is taken with questions such as: "since when have you been trying to get pregnant”, “how was your cycle before you started fertility treatment”, “how many fertility treatments have you had”, “how many eggs have you had”, “how many embryos were formed”, “how fertile is your partner”, “how are you emotionally coping with this difficult period”, ...?
Based on your story, treatments at the fertility centre and your own carrying capacity, a schedule for acupuncture and/or herbs will be made. You will also be given nutritional advice and healthy lifestyle tips.
The acupuncture treatments follow the 3 phases of your cycle: the follicular phase, the transfer or insemination phase, and the luteal phase.
In the follicular phase, acupuncture and herbs will help send enough blood to the ovaries and uterus. This benefits the quality of the eggs and the build-up of the endometrium.
The time of embryo transfer is very crucial. It is important for the acupuncture treatment to be as close as possible to the moment before and after the transfer.
In the luteal phase, it’ s important that implantation goes well and that the body temperature remains high enough during the luteal phase. Acupuncture and herbs should reduce uterine contractions.
For many women the whole procedure of IUI and IVF is often stressful. It requires a lot of organisation and planning. There is also the constant uncertainty of whether or not it will 'work'. And finally, the hormone medication itself causes increased stress levels and often unpleasant side effects.
The acupuncture treatments are therefore co-focused on bringing peace and relaxation.
Patients report that they find acupuncture treatments a very pleasant, meaningful addition to classical treatment.
A lot of scientific research has been published on the effect of acupuncture and Chinese herbs on infertility and IVF.
For a recent study on the effect of acupuncture in IVF, click here.
If you want to read the full study, click here.
For even more scientific research on the effect of acupuncture and Chinese herbs in infertility and IVF, please visit the website of 'The Acupuncture IVF Support Clinic' in Australia
You're pregnant! Congratulations! And now what?
The first 3 months of pregnancy are very tense because a lot can go wrong. Especially for women with a history of miscarriages or women who became pregnant through IUI or IFV, since the risk of a miscarriage is higher. This is why it makes sense to have acupuncture and/or herbs support you during these first 12 weeks. The treatment helps promote implantation and keep progesterone levels sufficiently high.
During your pregnancy, your whole body goes through a huge change, both physically and emotionally. This may be accompanied by smaller or bigger pregnancy symptoms. Taking medication can be dangerous for the baby and is therefore not always possible. Acupuncture can be a safe alternative.
Acupuncture can help with:
When a baby is in the breech position, it’ is possible to turn the baby with moxa therapy. Moxa therapy involves burning the plant "artemesia vulgaris" over well-defined acupuncture points.
The best period for this is around 32 or 33 weeks. At that time, the baby is not yet too big and there’ is still enough room to turn. This treatment is also possible after 33 weeks, however, it depends on the size of the baby and the amount of amniotic fluid.
The treatment is very easy to learn. One specific point on the toe is heated for 15 minutes on both feet. This brings 'yang energy' to the uterus which makes the baby more mobile and creates a chance that the baby might turn.
The method is painless and can easily be applied by yourself at home with the help of your partner.
The method is taught in the practice, and can then be further applied at home. You get the moxa sticks with the treatment.
German research (ROMER, A., Akupunktur für Hebammen, Geburtshilfer und Gynäkologen. Gravidität. P. 115, Hippokrates Verlag, Stuttgart, 2002) found that in women who are first-time pregnant, there is a 25% chance of the baby turning with moxa therapy. From a second child, the chance of the baby turning increases to 50%.
4 weeks before delivery
You can start acupuncture from 36 weeks as a way to best prepare for childbirth. This treatment is useful for women going into labour for the first time or women who’ve had a less positive experience during their first delivery. This could be a difficult, prolonged labour, or introduction to give birth, as well as a caesarean section.
These treatments start four weeks before the due date, one treatment a week.
German research found that women who’ve had several acupuncture sessions had smoother deliveries. The duration of labour was shorter, fewer supportive medications were used to initiate or maintain contractions and pain was perceived as less intense.
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, gynaecologists routinely prescribe acupuncture to their expectant mothers.
ROMER, A., WEIGEL, M., ZIEGER, W., Acupunkturergebnisse aus der praxis. Die Wirkungen geburtsvorbereitender Akupunkturtherapie. P. 40-47, Hippokrates Verlag, Stuttgart, 2002.
Helping you give birth
If you are past the due date for labour, acupuncture can help initiate the birthing process. Various acupuncture points on the hands and feet are pricked to stimulate the body to go into labour. At the same time, it helps to become calmer and relaxed, which promotes the onset of labour. Acupuncture gives an extra boost but ultimately it is your body itself and the baby that determine when everything is ready to give birth.
It's s better not to wait with acupuncture sessions until the very last moment. By then, tension is often very high and time is also running out, which is not favourable for inducing contractions.
If your membranes are already broken and the contractions do not start spontaneously, acupuncture can help to induce contractions.
The birth of a child is a profound event both physically and emotionally. It takes a lot of strength and energy to give birth to a child and to feed and care for it afterwards.
Because of this, it may take some time before you are fully recovered both physically and mentally.
If physical and mental recovery is more difficult, you can turn to acupuncture.
Acupuncture can help with:
⁃ extreme fatigue, difficulty recovering after childbirth
Insufficient milk production, breast infection
⁃ scar recovery
⁃ postnatal depression
It’s also important to pay attention to strengthening nutrition and, if necessary, use herbs.
Deze website maakt gebruik van cookies. Raadpleeg ons privacybeleid voor meer informatie.