Acupuncture or Reflexology? - Fertility Network UK

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Acupuncture or Reflexology?


Hello everyone. I hope you are all having a nice weekend.

I am wondering what your opinions are on acupuncture and reflexology?

I am willing to give both a try but to be honest they both give me the shivers. I’m not keen on anyone touching my feet at all.

What about acupuncture? I’m not sure if I would be able to relax? Do the needles go in near your tummy area?

I’ve heard a lot of women say they swear by both and I’m getting desperate!

28 Replies

I have just started accupuncture. Was a bit apprehensive as I dont like needles but it was actually really relaxing. My friend persuaded me as she found her FSH decreases after having accupuncture - not sure if it's a coincidence but thought it was worth a try! Will do anything right now to improve my chances. If you search accupuncture quite a lot of previous chats come up and they all seem quite positive! Xx

That’s good to hear you found it relaxing. Yes, I’m the same. I think I’ll try acupuncture as it doesn’t freak me out as much as someone rubbing my feet 🤣 I would probably be more stressed during a reflexology appointment x

I really enjoyed my first session. Maybe give it a go! They do put needles in your stomach area but it's not painful. Wierd tingley sensation but no pain. Will be interested to see if it helps to lengthen my cycle and improve my bloods but guess time will tell. And if its relaxing then I think that's beneficial in itself! xx

I started reflexology and reiki and purchased my own crystals and I’m so glad I did as my first transfer failed and now I’m almost 5 weeks pregnant. I really think the reflexology, reiki and diet adjustments helped me so end. I’ve always been funny about my feet but I got used to it. After injecting with ivf I couldn’t face more needles in me with acupuncture xx

Congratulations on your pregnancy 😘That’s interesting. I should maybe give the reflexology a go too and see how I get on. I guess I just want to make sure I’m trying new things this time. I’ve done the diet stuff and it made no difference as I’ve already had two failed rounds. I’ll hopefully find the treatment that is best for me x

The only change I made to my diet was adding almonds and strawberries to my breakfast and my lining was great at transfer.

Every two weeks I have an hour, half hour reflexology and half hour reiki. I wasn’t sure about the reiki at first but it I’m so glad I did it and really believe it in now. Xx

I’d never heard of reiki before but just googled it 👍😘 thanks x

I didn’t do either and I had a beautiful little girl. I would suggest doing whatever helps you relax, switch off and feel good xx

Love this! Thank you. Can I ask how many rounds it took you to have your girl? The clinic have told us we are doing ICSI on our next round x

We did icsi we had one fresh and two frozen on my last frozen we were successful although I think this is because I requested to increase my progesterone by one extra capsule as when one round wasn’t successful I asked them before I stopped taking the drugs to dpna blood test. The dr said my results were in the realm of ok but on the lower side so I made the request she got a second opinion who said yes and I did it and now have my beautiful baby. I also focused on other things as much as possible this round and relaxed about what I ate xx

Thank you for the information x

I’ve done both! Only do either if it’s going to relax you, completely defeats the object of it otherwise!!

And make sure if you do reflexology you get someone properly trained in fertility, pressure points in the feet can apparently cause miscarriages in early pregnancy.

Yep needles in tummy, feet, legs wrists head for acupuncture!!

Good luck xx

Hello, I’m going to have a go at them both I think and see how I feel. If I can’t relax then I’ll think of something else. I used to enjoy swimming so I may go back to that. Thanks for your advice x

Swimming sounds like a great idea! X

I’ve done both and have had 2 spontaneous pregnancies during courses of reflexology, never during acupuncture, and both of my practitioners were fertility specialists. I’ve now dumped the acupuncture as I seem to get better effects from he reflexology x

I haven’t tried acupuncture so can’t comment on that. For my last IVF cycle I decided to give Reflexology a go as a close friend who’d also struggled to conceive/had recurrent miscarriages recommended it. I found a lovely woman close to work and she did lots of visualisation exercises with me as well as the Reflexology. I love having my feet touched though, so found it really relaxing. The visualisation really helped me too. In the first session we did a ‘release’ exercise which brought up some emotions around my miscarriage last year from our first full IVF cycle. I believe this put me in the right mindset for this cycle. Fast forward a few weeks... I am now nearly 12 weeks pregnant. I’m not saying this is the reason, but it definitely helped me to focus and relax on this cycle and most of all to keep positive, which is hard after 3 failed IUIs, 2 failed IVF cycles and a miscarriage, plus all that time trying naturally beforehand. Hope that helps, wishing you the best of luck on your journey x x x

in reply to sarahJE

That’s very interesting! Congratulations on being 12 weeks pregnant 😘 I really think I should be more open minded to someone touching my feet x

Acupuncture for me was great during treatment, I also recommended my friend went and IVF worked first time for both of us. Not saying it as all down to that but I think it helped. The lady I saw specialised in fertility. She did do some needling in my belly before treatment but during treatment it was more on my legs feet and head to help with the hormone levels and blood circulation, especially good for FET. She didn’t recommend going back after transfer though. It’s not a pain you’d associate with needles it’s kinda like weird twinge as they go in and then whilst they’re in your body or the areas the needles are in go really heavy. It’s so relaxing and i would high recommend it! Xx

in reply to staaa88

👍😘 Yes, I am definitely going to give acupuncture a try! Thanks x

I’d definitely recommend Acupuncture, i went to an Acupuncturist who specialised in fertility acupuncture and followed the principles of Zita West after I had a chemical with my first round of IVF. I actually had a bfp the following month but sadly lost that pregnancy very early on. I continued with Acupuncture right up until the point of BFP with my frozen cycle, which worked! I’m now 26w pregnant 😊I can’t for sure say it was down to the acupuncture but it did really sort my system out, helped me to relax through a very stressful 4 months and set my cycle straight very quickly after ivf and m/c. I had tried reflexology and hypnotherapy prior to that and found they didn’t work for me but I think we get so desperate through this process that we will try anything! Whatever you find that works for you then go for it, wishing you lots of luck!

in reply to pinksnow

Hello, yes that’s what I’m feeling - desperate to try anything. I will book an acupuncture appointment tomorrow and definitely give it a go. Thanks x

Hi. I’m an acupuncturist who specializes in women with fertility challenges. The needles are very fine and shaped so that they don’t hurt like needles used for injection. There are tummy points but the needles are very superficial.

As for reiki and reflexology, these can be very relaxing, and being very relaxed a time or two a week leading up to conception, can have a positive impact on your ability to conceive. Acupuncture has this same effect. As far as forbidden points that cause miscarriage, this is simply folklore and completely inaccurate although widely reported and believed in. If there were “buttons” on a woman’s body that caused her to miscarry, the human race would be in trouble. Also beware of food fertility trends. Anecdotal evidence is simply coincidental and isn’t evidence at all. A healthy diet is all that is recommended. There are no magical fertility foods.

If you want to supplement try google searching but pay attention only to reputable sources such as WebMD or anything under the NIH banner head. So called “experts “ though they may talk a convincing game, are usually amateurs trying to sell you something. A proven supplement is Vitex. DHEA is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone. Topical bio-identical progesterone cream (the only namebrand I feel safe about is Emerita), can be applied after ovulation. Coenzyme Q has some evidence that it improves egg quality. Do your own research and pay careful attention to the sources.

Good luck! Be brave! 😊

Thank you for this information. I am definitely going to give acupuncture a try. As I don’t like feet and feel quite anxious if someone is touching my feet, I might be better going for a simple message or facial to relax? I might look into reiki.

I take pregnacare multivitamin and because my clinic haven’t told me to take anything more I haven’t.

The reviews and evidence I’ve read are all so mixed and tend to confuse me further.

Thanks again x

Supplements are very confusing because anyone who cares to can speak authoritatively on the internet. There is no regulation. I think nearly all advice given (unless it’s a sales pitch) is given by people trying to be helpful, but often what they strongly believe is the result of them having success “that time” while taking that supplement. Almost always there is no relationship at work, just dumb luck. For every truly beneficial supplement, there are many ineffective trendy ideas floating around that people just seem to want to believe in.

Again, if you’re looking at supplements, look for legitimate research and info on healthcare websites that are established, and are not selling anything. And always run any ideas past your clinic before you begin taking anything.

Scheduling relaxation time is more important than anything you can pop in your mouth. This is a fact that struggles to gain traction. But there is no doubt at all (google-search: stress & infertility, ... or gestational development, miscarriage, etc, and look for recognizable and respectable sources), that stress reduction can be a game changer when attempting conception.

Even if you live a stressful life, if you can sink yourself into a state of deep relaxation a couple of times a week, your reproductive body will notice. It’s not so

Important to reduce or eliminate your stress at all times, which is a good thing because doing so simply isn’t possible. But taking a couple of stress vacations a week will have absolute positive effects.

All you have to do is recognize what truly relaxes you, be it Reiki, massage or acupuncture, or ....? On a more manageable scale, pleasant walks, visits to a park, canoeing or bubble baths are a small part of an inexhaustible list. You just have to find a good choice by yourself.

( :

btw: giving a shout out to my profession: acupuncture has been shown in many legitimate trials to increase the chances of pregnancy and full term delivery by up to 50% per attempt. If you go that route try to find an acupuncturist who has a soothing nature, has a relaxing treatment room environment, and is not in a hurry.

I have had few failed transfer. My Re done every test under the sun always came back normal. So we been trying for 5 years and 3 years of treatment few failed transfer but when i tried acupuncture 3months before my last transfer and before&after the transfer as well after all the struggles and a long journey i got my bfp🙏🏼😊im due any time now with a healthy wee boy💙so i highly recommend acupuncture💕goodluck and baby dust✨xxx

Hi There, I was so skeptical about acupuncture. I was totally desperate after have tubal disease, tubal surgery and very low egg reserve. My nhs consultant told me to consider having a donor egg. A year and a half after tubal surgery and having no luck naturally I decided to see a Chinese doc/ acupuncturist. (We had decided against ivf. I hit the nhs age cut off period half way through my nhs investigations. It was too expensive privately and I was told my chances were about 2%!) I started having acupuncture in mid November and by the 3rd Feb I fell pregnant naturally . I saw her every week for the first month then every other week. I’ve continued to see her throughout my pregnancy. Every two weeks. I’m convinced she worked her magic. She was always so confident I was ovulating by checking my pulse. I’m now 35 weeks pregnant with a girl. I highly recommend it. It gave me some hope and focus. Good luck!!! xx

in reply to susu82

That is amazing!! Congratulations 😘💕 xxxx

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