Acupuncture and Fertility

Welcome to another episode of the Fertility Confidence podcast. I am your host, Dr. Kelsey Duncan, naturopathic doctor, and the founder and creator of the Fertility Confidence method. 

In today’s episode, we are talking through my thoughts on Acupuncture and fertility. This discussion is an overflow from a live I did within the Be Hormonally Confident Facebook group a few weeks ago.

At the end of 2019, I brought my practice completely virtual and I brought the Fertility Confidence Method to life in the online space. For two reasons, one, I wanted to be home with my baby. My daughter wouldn’t take a bottle, It was really hard and I felt like it was just the right time for me to make a change. And the second reason was I knew that I could help more women outside of my community.

And while I gain so much from working virtually and helping a farther-reaching community of women, I do miss performing acupuncture in my physical clinic practice. This is because I use acupuncture a lot to try to help women ovulate, so helping to stimulate ovulation. There is so much research to support the physical aspects and physical benefits of acupuncture in terms of ovulation rates, lower miscarriage rates, better cervical fluid production, better embryo development during IVF, better implantation rates, better pregnancy clinical pregnancy rates. 

And there are so many benefits to this practice as a conjunctive therapy. Studies have shown us that there is a benefit of acupuncture that goes beyond the physical body, we’re now talking about stress management, about anxiety, about mood, about mindset. That is worth its weight in gold in my opinion.

Here are the main topics of today’s episode:

  • Why I advocate for acupuncture
  • Acupuncture and fertility
  • Specialization and due diligence
  • Importance of research
  • Cycle sinking
  • Beyond the physical benefits
  • Effect of acupuncture on psychosocial outcomes

My sincerest thanks for pressing play today. Join our growing community of strong, hopeful women, each on their own fertility confidence journey; as well as those that are listening to gain the knowledge and understanding needed to support them via the Fertility Confidence Instagram @fertilityconfidencemethod or through our Facebook group Be Hormonally Confident with Dr.Kelsey. 

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Quotes

  • “I use acupuncture a lot to try to help women ovulate, so helping to stimulate ovulation and we do see a ton of benefits in terms of improving ovulation for all women. 
  • “As a naturopath, I feel that I got to merge the eastern and western approach in building a care team around you, of people with, with some different opinions and different approaches so that we know we’re touching on each and every angle for you.”
  • “Doing your due diligence and finding someone that is well versed in fertility to get you results. The research is there. The research is heavy. It’s well supported … We want to read the research with a very critical eye because the goal is a baby, the goal to shorten your cycle or lengthen your luteal phase.”
  • “In one study…they found that the women who received the acupuncture had a 42.5% clinical pregnancy rate, whereas women who didn’t receive acupuncture had a 26% pregnancy rate. That’s almost double”
  • “The second study actually had more acupuncture appointments, and older in terms of their age, demographic and pregnancy outcome, they saw 34% with acupuncture and only 16% in the non-acupuncture. So again the pregnancy rate doubled, actually more than doubled in terms of the acupuncture actually helping with clinical pregnancy rate.”
  • “The cool thing with acupuncture is you’re going to get different points based on where you’re at in your cycle.”
  • “A study in 2011,  the effect of acupuncture on psychosocial outcomes for women experiencing infertility. what they actually looked at was anxiety and infertility-related stress. Those were the outcomes that they were studying and what they found was the women in the acupuncture group reported significant changes in the fertility problem inventory with less social concern, less relationship concern which we know can be incredibly difficult on the fertility journey. There were also trends toward a reduction in infertility stress on other domains and trends toward improved self-efficacy”
  • “We have a lot of research to support the physical aspects and physical benefits of acupuncture in terms of ovulation rates, lower miscarriage rates, better cervical fluid production, better embryo development during IVF, better implantation rates, better pregnancy clinical pregnancy rates.”

Studies have shown us that there is a benefit of acupuncture that actually goes beyond the physical body. We’re now talking about stress management, about anxiety, about mood, about mindset. That is worth its weight in gold in my opinion.”