It’s estimated that one in six women in the UK have difficulty conceiving a baby. Sometimes the problem can be easily identified – such as blocked fallopian tubes or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). But it’s not always possible to pinpoint the cause of infertility and assisted conception isn’t always the answer.

For thousands of years, traditional acupuncture has been used in the Far East to improve fertility by getting a woman’s monthly cycle into a regular rhythm. Although women in the West expect periods to be painful, this is not considered to be normal in Chinese medicine. Heavy periods, irregular cycles and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been shown to respond very well to traditional acupuncture, and to increase women’s chances of conceiving naturally.

Medical scientists are only just beginning to understand how acupuncture affects our bodies. Researchers suggest there are three ways that acupuncture helps women fall pregnant. Firstly, they think it influences the hormones that control menstruation,ovulation and fertility. Secondly, by stimulating blood flow to the uterus, which makes it easier for a fertilised egg to implant. And finally, acupuncture affects the sympathetic nervous system to calm the body and mind and leave you feeling relaxed.

Stress has been shown to be one of the biggest blocks to falling pregnant because it disrupts the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPOA) which affects the hormones that influence conception. So using acupuncture to reduce the physical effects of emotional stress is very important when trying to get pregnant