"Marcus is friendly, professional and makes you feel totally at ease. I firmly believe acupuncture was instrumental in helping us to conceive. I would highly recommend Marcus to anyone considering it."
Zita West Affiliation.
Marcus is a Zita West Affiliated Acupuncturist.
Zita West is an Acupuncturist/Midwife and now one of Europe's leading authorities on using natural health to enhance fertility. She has set up a network of Affiliated Acupuncturist that can bring together the collective knowledge of Zita West fertility/IVF clinic in London, comprising of Acupuncturists, Midwives, Nurses and Doctors and the latest research to the regions.
The benefits of that you will receive:
My expertise as an acupuncturist since 1997
The unique training and support from Zita West and colleagues
The latest research and information
The accumulated knowledge of the network
Infertility is the inability of a couple to get pregnant despite having regular unprotected sex. A couple is regarded as infertile if, after regular sexual intercourse, they have not conceived in two years. It is estimated that one in seven UK couples has difficulty conceiving (HFEA, 2006).
Identifiable causes of infertility include: ovulatory disorders in 27% of couples; tubal damage in 14% of couples; low sperm count or low sperm quality in 19% of couples. In 30% of couples the cause of infertility remains unexplained (NCCWCH, 2004). Female fertility declines with age, but the effect of age on male fertility is less clear (NICE, 2004). The difficulties couples encounter when facing fertility problems can lead to stress, which may further decrease chances of conception (Eugster & Vingerhoets, 1999). Acupuncture is a popular treatment choice for infertility (Smith 2010).*
How can acupuncture help
Randomised trials in China have demonstrated significantly better pregnancy rates for acupuncture than medication (Yang 2005, Chen 2007, Song 2008), but these studies may not be of a high quality. In the West, clinical trials on acupuncture for natural fertility (i.e. not as an adjunct to assisted conception) are almost non-existent, though there is a small amount of positive evidence (Gerhard 1992, Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2010).
Research has established plausible mechanisms to explain how acupuncture may benefit fertility:
Regulating fertility hormones
stress and other factors can disrupt the function of the hypothalamic pituitary-ovarian axis (HPOA), causing hormonal imbalances that can negatively impact fertility. Acupuncture has been shown to affect hormone levels by promoting the release of beta-endorphin in the brain, which affects the release of gonadotrophin releasing hormone by the hypothalamus, follicle stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland, and oestrogen and progesterone levels from the ovary (Ng 2008, Huang 2008, Lim 2010, Stener-Victorin 2010). Further details of these processes are emerging, for example mRNA expression of hormones, growth factors and other neuropeptides (He 2009)
Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs
stress also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes constriction of ovarian arteries. Acupuncture inhibits this sympathetic activity, improving blood flow to the ovaries (Stener-Victorin 2006, Lim 2010), enhancing the environment in which ovarian follicles develop. It also increases blood flow to the uterus (Stener-Victorin 1996, Huang 2008), improving the thickness of the endometrial lining and increasing the chances of embryo implantation using electrical acupuncture.
Counteracting the effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. By
reducing sympathetic nerve activity and balancing hormone levels,
acupuncture has been shown to reduce the number of ovarian cysts,
stimulate ovulation, enhance blastocyst implantation and regulate
the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008,
2009, Zhang 2009). It may also help to control secondary effects such
as obesity and anorexia (Lim 2010). Testosterone concentrations were
reduced, menstrual frequency increased (Jedel et al. Impact of
electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism
and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome:
a randomised controlled trial Vol 300. No. E37-E45. 2011 . American
Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism)
Improvement of IVF outcomes with Electrical Acupuncture
(Cridennda and Magarelli 2005)
Male fertility improved with electrical acupuncture
Ultrasound measured blood flow intesticular artery on a variety of parameters. All parameters were significantly
improved (Cakmak 2008).
Women receiving electrical acupuncture had fewer obstetric complications, higher frequency vaginal deliveries,
higher patient satisfaction (Gribel 2011).
Eugster A, Vingerhoets AJ. Psychological aspects of in vitro fertilization: a review. Soc Sci Med. 1999 Mar;48(5):575-89.Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Facts and figures for researchers and the media. (2006) www.hfea.gov.ukNational Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health Fertility (NCCWCH) Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems (full NICE guideline). Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. www.rcog.org.ukNational Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems (NICE guideline). Clinical guideline 11. (2004) www.nice.org.ukSmith JF, Eisenberg ML, Millstein SG, Nachtigall RD et al. The use of complementary and alternative fertility treatment in couples seeking fertility care: data from a prospective cohort in the United States. Fertil Steril. 2010;93(7):2169-74