Acupuncture and IUI are used in combination as an effective treatment method for infertility in couples facing problems with conception. IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) in which the cleaned and washed sperm of the male partner is injected into the uterus of the woman.
Recently, traditional infertility treatments have been used in combination with modern-day procedures to increase the chances of becoming pregnant. One such example is the combination of acupuncture and IUI.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicinal procedure in which certain points in the body are stimulated by the insertion of hair-fine needles. Acupuncture points, their depth, and length of penetration depend on the type of treatment given to the patient. This treatment has been used in China since ancient times as a remedy for various medical conditions. (Read more on acupuncture.)
Acupuncture is also believed to be an effective cure for infertility. The World Health Organization (WHO) included this treatment in their official list of curable ailments with acupuncture. Acupuncture helps IUI in various ways by balancing the flow of energy in the body.
Acupuncture treatment for infertility enhances the supply of blood to the uterine arteries. An increase in the blood flow will ensure the adequate supply of nutrients and hormones to the uterus. Such a “well nourished” uterus is healthy and fully prepared for conceiving.
Quality of Eggs
Due to the improvement of blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, the quality of the eggs also improves considerably because of improved nourishment.
Lining of Uterus
A well nourished uterus will begin to develop a thick lining wall (endometrium), which is essential for implantation and a successful pregnancy.
Acupuncture treatment is believed to enhance the physical and mental strength of the woman. As a result, there will be a reduction in the stress and improvement in the self-immunity of the treated patients. Due to all these improvisations, acupuncture is believed to increase the rate of live birth rates when combined with other treatments for infertility such as IUI and IVF.
Stimulation of Hormones
Acupuncture treatment stimulates the release of B-endorphins and Seratonin in the central nervous system. B-endorphin will in turn stimulate the release of LH and FSH (gonadotropin) hormones. These gonadotropins increase the production of estrogen, thereby stimulating the ovaries.
Contractions in uterus might be the reason for the failure of pregnancies in certain women, as a contracted uterus increases the chances of the expulsion of an embryo. When acupuncture treatment is done for overcoming infertility, it relaxes the uterus or at least reduces the contraction, thereby increasing the chances of embryo implantation.
Effects of acupuncture can be maximized by undergoing this treatment prior to IUI procedure. Multiple sessions of acupuncture treatment have to be performed depending on the medical condition of the woman undergoing treatment, as each one’s infertility problem is unique. Thus, sub-fertile couples can combine traditional and modern technologies to increase their chances of achieving pregnancy.