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The inability of a couple to get pregnant despite having regular unprotected sex is known as infertility. A couple is regarded as infertile if, after regular sexual intercourse, they have not conceived in two years. It is estimated that one in seven UK couples has difficulty conceiving (HFEA,2006).

Identifiable causes of infertility include: ovulatory disorders in 27% of couples; tubal damage in 14% of couples; low sperm count or low sperm quality in 19% of couples. In 30% of couples the cause of infertility remains unexplained.

Acupuncture is a popular treatment choice for infertility. It can be used to assist natural conception and assisted reproductive methods such as IVF.

Jo has a wealth of experience supporting patients to conceive. She works with both women and men to help them take charge of their fertility.

How acupuncture can help

Trials in China have demonstrated significantly better pregnancy rates for acupuncture than medication (Yang 2005,Chen 2007,Song 2008). Research has established plausible mechanisms to explain how acupuncture may benefit fertility:

Regulating fertility hormones

Stress and other factors can disrupt the function of the hypothalamic pituitary-ovarian axis (HPOA), causing hormonal imbalances that can negatively impact fertility. Acupuncture has been shown to affect hormone levels by promoting the release of beta-endorphin in the brain,which affects the release of a number of hormones.

Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs

Stress also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system,which causes constriction of ovarian arteries. Acupuncture inhibits this sympathetic activity, improving blood flow to the ovaries, enhancing the environment in which ovarian follicles develop. It also increases blood flow to the uterus, improving the thickness of the endometrial lining and increasing the chances of embryo implantation.

Reducing the effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. By reducing sympathetic nerve activity and balancing hormone levels,acupuncture has been shown to reduce the number of ovarian cysts,stimulate ovulation,enhance blastocyst implantation and regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS. It may also help to control secondary effects such as obesity and anorexia.

If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can be used to assist fertility contact Jo by phone on 01273 251575 or email. Free initial consultations are available.

Source : British Acupuncture Council July 2011. If you would like to read the full transcript of this material please visit


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About the clinic

Jo Hull Lic. Ac, BSc Hons in acupuncture and
has a geniune passion for natural healthcare and specialist interests in fertility, sports injury and pain management.

She has recently had research (into the positive effects of acupuncture on success rates of IVF) published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Hove Natural Health Clinic
33 Montefiore Road

Clinic Times
Tuesday 9.30am  - 3pm
Wednesday 8am - 3pm
Thursday 11am - 8pm
Friday 9.30am  - 3pm
Saturday 8am - 1pm
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IVF and acupuncture

Ideally patients should have regular acupuncture in the months leading up to their treatment to reduce stress levels and optimise their health.

It can assist at any point during the procedure to improve side effects and support the work of the IVF clinic.

Research has shown it to be particularly effective pre and post egg transfer.

For more information about how acupuncture can help you please call 01273 251575 or email.

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