Acupuncture Therapy for Infertility

pregnancy test

Does Acupuncture Work for Infertility?

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat some causes of infertility. For example, acupuncture and herbs will not work to address tubal adhesions which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. However, in this situation, an individual could still benefit from acupuncture and herbs because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, it is shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.

When Should I Start Acupuncture Treatment?

Patients are commonly treated for 3 to 4 months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. This period of treatment seems to have the maximum therapeutic effect.

In a study by Stener-Victorin et. al. from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fertility Centre, Scandinavia and University of Gothenburg, women are encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre- and post-embryo transfer. Clinical observations from the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used without traditional medical interventions.

When Should I Stop Acupuncture Treatment?

Typically, most miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Therefore, acupuncture treatment may often continue through week 12 to help prevent miscarriage.

What Types of Fertility Patients Typically Get Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. (Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture). Acupuncture is often used to treat elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factor including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation.

What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture

Acupuncture is a 5000-year-old healing art that is considered by modern medicine to be a safe and natural practice with no side effects.

In acupuncture the body is seen as a grid of twelve dissecting energy channels which are called medians. These medians are believed to be active channels of energy along which flow the life force of Chi. It is believed that un-wellness is caused by interruptions in the flow of this vital energy.

The medicine of acupuncture uses very small needles (about the thickness of a human hair) which are injected into the skin in one or more specific sites throughout the body. The acupuncture practitioner will then gently stimulate the needles to open and harmonize the corresponding blocked energy median.

Acupuncture is safe and pain-free. We use only thinnest, single-use needles, and the insertion is very shallow—just under the skin. The acupuncturist will then leave the needles in place for several minutes, while you relax comfortably. The needles are then removed and discarded. Many patients report a sensation of feeling refreshed after an acupuncture session, which may be a result of improvement in the flow of Chi.

Acupuncture is not a one-time treatment—most conditions require several treatments for effective results. In addition, depending on the specific condition, a schedule of maintenance treatments may be recommended to cement the results.