Unexplained infertility is the reason given when no cause for infertility has been found despite investigation of both partners and where specialist help has failed to find an obvious diagnosis for the infertility. Some cases of unexplained infertility may be the result of either minor ovulatory problems or sperm dysfunction or even immune issues for which there may be inadequate tests or insufficient evidence to support these theories. It is however a recognised fact that a diagnosis of unexplained infertility is very frustrating and stressful for couples, because with no obvious cause it is difficult to decide what to do in terms of treatment. Sometimes doctors will suggest improving the quality of ovulation with fertility drugs such as Clomiphene citrate (clomid). There are also many things that you as a couple can do to improve your fertility. By changing your diet and lifestyle and managing stress levels can all make a big difference to your fertility as so many factors are involved in all aspects of health. Many women also choose to try complementary therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and EFT.
Acupuncture has been used for hundreds of years to successfully treat fertility problems in both men and women and recent scientific evidence has shown that it can:
- Improve the blood flow to the uterus and the uterine wall increasing the chances of implantation
- Increases the production of endorphins which also then affects the production of hormones involved in regulating reproduction – the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)
- Regulate the hormones involved in ovulation
- Lower the stress hormones that prevent ovulation
- Improves ovulation in women with PCOS
- Increases the chance of pregnancy in women undergoing IVF
Reflexology is a form of foot massage although it can also be used on the hands and other reflex areas of the body. All areas of the body are believed to be represented on the feet and by applying massage to various points the practitioner can stimulate the body to rebalance and aid the natural healing process. There is very little evidence published on reflexology and fertility, but it is a very useful treatment for stress relief and helping with relaxation and works very well alongside orthodox or conventional medicine.
The treatment usually last an hour and the therapist will pay particular attention to areas that represent the ovaries, uterus, pituitary gland and hypothalamus stimulating the reflex points and encouraging the body’s natural healing processes. Patients usually report feeling relaxed, more positive and have more regular cycles after treatment. By encouraging the body to work more efficiently it can create a healthier and more balanced environment to support a pregnancy.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a technique based on the principles of acupuncture. Instead of needles, the meridians are stimulated via the fingertips by tapping, whilst the client is focused on the issue they are dealing with. When we tap on these “natural comfort points” of the body we help clear stress and anxiety.
EFT is a technique that is easy to learn, portable and is typically quick to produce results. It also empowers people by allowing them to help themselves whenever stress or an issue arises. This is particularly important for women who have ‘lost control’ over their body, when they are not able to get pregnant. EFT can particularly help those women who are suffering from stress and anxiety due to their infertility. It is also very helpful at eliminating negative emotions.
Examples of this include –
- I’ll never get pregnant
- I don’t deserve to get pregnant
- I’m scared of having another miscarriage
- I don’t think I’ll be a good Mum
- I’m petrified of giving birth
- I feel guilty for taking contraceptives for all those years
- Guilt issues relating to their mother or father
- Fears about changes in their body
- Fears of morning sickness
- Worries about changes to their relationship
EFT is also great at getting rid of fears and phobias. So if someone has a needle phobia and yet they want to come for acupuncture, then they can have EFT first to get rid of the needle phobia then allowing them to come for acupuncture.