Acupuncture for Fertility

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment that can increase conception rates. If you and your partner are struggling with achieving pregnancy, discuss acupuncture with your doctor.

 

How does acupuncture increase fertility?

According to fertility experts, acupuncture increases fertility by reducing stress, balancing the endocrine system, and increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. The goal of fertility treatment with acupuncture is to become pregnant, stay pregnant, and have a healthy baby.

 

How is acupuncture treatment done?

The patient lies on a procedure table, and the practitioner gently inserts thin, sterile needles at strategic acupoints in the skin and deeper tissues. These points on the human body connect to 14 pathways, which are called meridians. These meridian pathways conduct energy (called qi) between the body surface and the internal organs. Pronounced “chee,” qi regulates mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional balance. The flow of this energy is disrupted from disease, pain, poor health habits, and stress.

 

What are the success rates for acupuncture to treat fertility?

When used along with other fertility treatments, acupuncture increases the chance of conception by around 26%. When combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI), the rate of conception is around 66%, according to a recent study. This is compared to 39% for the control group (did not have acupuncture).

 

What conditions or circumstances can be treated with acupuncture for fertility?

Fertility can be related to hormonal imbalances in the man’s and/or woman’s body. Under stress, cortisol is released in the brain, and this substance alters other hormone levels. When hormones are not in balance, it disrupts the reproductive cycle. Acupuncture works to alleviate stress and restore hormonal balance. In addition, acupuncture can help with conditions that make conception difficult, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and low back pain.

 

Can acupuncture help ovulation?

The pituitary gland and hypothalamus (of the brain) work with the reproductive glands to keep a strategic hormone balance. Certain medical conditions and excessive stress can prevent a woman from ovulating completely, due to effects on this balance. In addition, stress can cause spasms of the uterus and/or fallopian tubes, which affects ovulation and egg implantation.

 

What are the risks associated with acupuncture?

While many fertility treatments carry several risks, acupuncture infertility treatment produces no side effects. There is a slight chance of tenderness at the insertion sites and infection, but this rarely occurs.

 

When combined with in vitro fertilization, does acupuncture increase the chance of pregnancy?

Many studies show that when used in combination with IVF, acupuncture increases pregnancy success rates. In a recent study involving 160 women, 42% of the women who received acupuncture treatments became pregnant, which was a higher percentage than seen in the group that did not use acupuncture.

 

What conditions can acupuncture help?

To increase the chance of achieving conception, acupuncture helps people who suffer from:

  • Repeated pregnancy losses
  • Thyroid problems
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Stress
  • Spasmed tubes

 

Will acupuncture help men with fertility problems?

Acupuncture can improve sperm movement (motility), as well as the overall sperm count. To achieve these effects, acupuncture must be done at regular intervals. New research studies show that the health and quality of the sperm improves with acupuncture. In addition, researchers have found that acupuncture is associated with fewer sperm structural defects.