How Many Acupuncture Sessions to Get Pregnant?
Around Halloween this year, I was given a Tootsie Pop and was reminded of the old commercials asking, ‘How many licks does it take to get to the middle of a Tootsie Pop?’ As Mr. Owl would go around asking others how many licks it takes, he got various answers. Fun fact: multiple groups have scientifically studied this and the answer is: on average, somewhere between 144 and 411. I can hardly believe multiple groups have studied that!
As an acupuncturist, I feel similar about the question, “How many acupuncture sessions to get pregnant?” That answer varies greatly, depending, in part, on whether you’re coming in for a relatively simple issue, or a long-standing complex condition like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. It also depends on how you individually respond to acupuncture, how often you come for treatment, how much stress you have in your life, whether you’re able to make lifestyle changes, and many other factors.
However, I can give you a baseline recommendation to help you get pregnant: Plan to have weekly acupuncture for at least three months. The reason is that it takes three menstrual cycles for an egg to fully mature. I was surprised myself when I learned this. We are usually told that an egg matures sometime between day 1 of a menstrual cycle and ovulation, usually around day 14.
Actually, an egg starts developing about three months before it is ready to be released at ovulation. During that time, there’s a lot you can do to improve the health of your eggs. At Portland Acupuncture Studio, we often recommend supplements, dietary changes, and lifestyle adjustments to help improve egg quality. Those recommendations are tailored to your individual circumstances and can give you the best chance of helping you get pregnant with a healthy baby.
Another important factor in pregnancy success is the environment into which a fertilized egg (technically a blastocyst at this stage) will implant. Blastocysts enjoy a nice, fluffy, three-layered uterine lining to snuggle up into. If any of the layers aren’t fully in place, the blastocyst won’t be able to implant, or won’t be able to grow and develop properly.
Acupuncture has been shown to improve the uterine lining in women trying to get pregnant through IVF by increasing microcirculation in the pelvic cavity. Better blood flow to the uterus goes a long way to helping you succeed in getting pregnant. But, like egg development, these changes in blood flow take time, and we recommend about 3 months of treatment weekly for this as well.
The embryo is also developing inside the ‘environment’ of a human being. With acupuncture, we can improve the conditions in all the systems of the body that help to nourish the embryo: digestive, circulatory, respiratory, etc. We work with each person to optimize the functioning of these systems so that your pregnancy can start healthy and stay that way.
Some people start acupuncture and become pregnant quite quickly. Others take longer than the three-month estimate. Sometimes, as we work to help someone get pregnant, we start to uncover layers of health issues that need to be worked through before their body is ready to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Let Us Help You Find the Answer
All of us at Portland Acupuncture studio understand that fertility delays are really frustrating, and we’re here to support you on your journey. Given time, focus, and patience, you can improve your health and get your body ready to have a healthy baby!