Acupuncture can help women who have diminished ovarian reserve, who are attempting pregnancy either naturally, or with IUI or IVF, by increasing blood flow and regulating hormonal communication between the pituitary gland, ovaries, and brain. This results in healthier eggs and often decreases FSH levels. Additionally, women undergoing hormonal stimulation may require fewer drugs because the ovaries will be more responsive.
Many women of all ages are told they have diminished ovarian reserve. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) are different ways of measuring ovarian reserve. High FSH and low AMH are linked to poor egg quality and conception rates, both stand-alone or in an intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. FSH is the hormone your pituitary gland produces to trigger your ovaries to develop follicles in preparation for ovulation. AMH is a substance secreted by your primordial follicles, or follicles in “deep sleep”. The more follicles you have, the higher your AMH level, and the better your chances of conception.
As we get older, the ovaries are less inclined to ovulate and the pituitary pumps out more FSH in an effort to get them to do so. This tendency is due a decrease in blood flow to the ovaries as we age, and hormonal fluctuations between the brain and the reproductive organs.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Acupuncture is the only known way to increase circulation to the reproductive organs. Once the ovaries are receiving better blood flow, they require less FSH to ovulate. It is true that there are changes in the DNA with age, which cannot be remedied through acupuncture and herbal medicine. However, eggs that are maturing in a well-oxygenated, nutrient-rich environment are going to be healthier than eggs developing in a state of stress due to poor blood supply and fluctuating hormone levels.