Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body which reside on channels or meridians. Meridians are pathways in both the exterior and interior of the body. The combination of points are prescribed based on the pattern of imbalance determined by the practitioner. These points, when needled, can regulate the way in which the body functions.
The most common conditions that Dr. Katie Rose uses acupuncture for include:
Acupuncture helps by addressing fertility issues, such as uterine lining insufficiency and poor ovarian or follicular function. It can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to build a thick healthy endometrial lining. It can also help stimulate follicle growth and ovulation (both for natural conception and for IVF).
Ideally, patients are treated 1-2 times per week, minimally 3 times per cycle, for 3-4 months before trying to conceive. Studies have shown that acupuncture increases success rates of intrauterine insemination and IVF and it is encouraged that women receive acupuncture treatments pre and post embryo transfer during IVF. Once a woman becomes pregnant, we usually treat once per week until the end of the first trimester to prevent miscarriage and encourage excellent blood flow to the developing fetus. After that point treatment every 4-6 weeks is recommended.
The risks and side effects of acupuncture are minimal. It is important to ensure that you choose an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility disorders as incorrect points could increase the risk of miscarriage. Generally, acupuncture is safe regardless of a person’s medical history.
Acupuncture can be used to assist in the treatment of many types of fertility disorders, often combined with herbal treatments and nutritional changes. Women with the following situations can benefit from acupuncture:
Dr. Rose also treats men with low sperm count, motility and morphology issues.
Typically the points are painless, however sometimes there may be a sensation of a “pinch” during insertion, but it does not last long. In some cases electricity (called electro-acupuncture) may be applied to the needles to make it more effective. Once the needles are in place, the patient rests for 20-30 minutes. Most patients will leave feeling very relaxed. For patients who are nervous about needles, laser “acupuncture” can be an alternative to needling. Dr. Rose has successfully treated dozens of “needle-phobic” patients, and most of these patient eventually try needling and love the effect!
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