Whether you're a couple frustrated from months of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child, or a woman dreading the thought of your next ultra-painful menstrual period, you may be wondering whether there's any help available that won't require you to undergo invasive medical procedures or take hormonal medication. Fortunately, there may be some assistance available to you or your partner suffering from reproductive problems or ailments. Read on to learn more about how acupuncture can be used to treat or manage both male- and female-specific reproductive health issues.
Which female-specific issues can acupuncture be used to treat?
One of the most popular uses of acupuncture is to help manage some of the conditions that can lead to female infertility. While a small number of couples who can't conceive have no biological factors that can be pinpointed as a cause of infertility, in many cases the culprit is an ovary that fails to release an egg, or an egg that doesn't travel all the way down the Fallopian tube to meet sperm.
Acupuncture can help manage these conditions and put you on a more regular menstrual cycle by improving blood flow to the reproductive organs, particularly the egg-releasing follicles in your ovaries. While diagnosed physical issues (like a closed Fallopian tube) may require more invasive intervention, many of the fertility problems caused by an egg's inability to move all the way from your ovary to your Fallopian tube can be treated with a few months of regular acupuncture.
Another common female reproductive issue involves painful periods, often stemming from endometriosis -- an overgrowth of the uterine lining that can make this lining painful to expel during a period. In some severe cases, the uterine lining may even begin growing outside the uterus, causing problems with other internal organs. Placing thin acupuncture needles in the parts of your body that can trigger increased blood flow to your reproductive organs may help manage this overgrowth and lessen your painful symptoms.
Which male-specific issues can acupuncture be used to treat?
Fertility treatment certainly isn't always for females -- in some cases, a couple's inability to conceive can stem from a male's insufficient or non-motile sperm supply. Just as acupuncture can help increase blood flow to the reproductive organs for women, it can also help improve the flow of blood to testes for men, boosting sperm supply and quality.
If you're having your sperm or semen regularly tested to determine when your odds of conception are at their highest, you may want to investigate acupuncture as a way to boost motility and quality. You may notice an improvement in your sperm quality after only a few treatments. In most cases, even if your sperm never quite regains enough motility to assist in natural conception, it may be easily used in the intrauterine insertion (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) processes, rather than resorting to donor sperm.
For those who are tired of struggling with fertility issues, painful periods, or other reproductive problems, acupuncture may provide a relaxing and effective way to manage symptoms and help "train" your reproductive system to function more normally. Most insurance plans cover acupuncture in some form, whether coverage for specific treatments or for a certain number of sessions each year.
If you do decide to seek acupuncture treatment, it's important to find a licensed acupuncture provider with specific experience in treating reproductive and fertility problems. This will allow you to receive targeted treatment from someone who has performed the same procedures on countless other patients and is well-acquainted with any potential risk factors or complications that could affect your personal health.
Learn more about acupuncture by contacting a specialist in your area.