Fertility Acupuncture

Fertility Acupuncture

For a couple hoping to start a family, receiving a diagnosis of infertility is devastating. But there are many treatment options available to couples to assist them in their journey to parenthood. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can provide hope to a couple who want a child. More and more couples are turning to acupuncture and TCM for infertility treatment.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is said that there is no such thing as “infertility”. The inability to conceive is considered to be an imbalance in the body, not a matter-of-fact condition of infertility. The use of acupuncture and herbs has high success rates in treating infertility in both women and men. It is a safe, natural and low cost approach to the treatment of infertility. Acupuncture and TCM can be used as a primary treatment for infertility, or to enhance the effectiveness of reproductive medical procedures such as IUI and IVF.

Acupuncture can be effective for the treatment of:

Unexplained Infertility

PCOS

Advanced Maternal Age

Recurrent Miscarriage

Luteal Phase Defect

High FSH/ Poor Responder

Ovulation Disorders

Poor Egg Quality

Male Factor Infertility

Support IUI/IVF

Acupuncture for the treatment of infertility does not aim at creating conception; rather it aims at creating a healthy person. Conception and pregnancy then become a natural event. Most women struggling with infertility are all too aware of the “window of opportunity” and feel that they are running out of time. In reality, a successful conception and pregnancy relates as much to a woman’s state of health as to her age. A woman who is 40 years old who gains her health back through acupuncture, herbs, nutrition and lifestyle changes has a better chance of conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy than a 40 year old woman who is in poor health.

Acupuncture and TCM can greatly enhance fertility. Most fertility patients receive acupuncture one or two times a week. It is ideal to come in twice a week because pregnancy rates are higher than for those coming once a week. However, ANY amount of acupuncture is still beneficial. Within a short period of time, most people begin to notice overall changes in their health and well-being, including more energy, better sleep and less stressed and anxious. Acupuncture and herbs are a gentle, yet effective treatment for infertility.

Stress plays a major role in the regulation of hormones in the body. High levels of stress hormones are known to suppress fertility and decrease the chances of a natural conception. When people are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, thus changing homrome levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle. Because of the balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary and reproductive glands, stress can prevent a woman from ovulating. Stress can also cause spasms in both the fallopian tubes and uterus, which can interfere with the movement and implantation of an embryo. Acupuncture counters the effects of stress and cortisol production by releasing endorphins in the brain, which exert a calming effect on the body.

Other factors that contribute to infertility are ovulation disorders, endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Acupuncture increases fertility by balancing and regulating hormones. Acupuncture also increases blood flow in the body, specifically to the pelvic area. This provides a woman’s reproductive organs with more nourishment. Improved circulation to the ovaries can lead to improved egg quality, and improved circulation to the uterus can lead to a thicker uterine lining, enhancing the likelihood of embryo implantation.

 

Acupuncture for female infertility

In studies reviewed by Weill Cornell Medical Center, researchers concluded that acupuncture helps to:

  • Increase blood flow to the uterus to improve the chances of embryo implantation
  • Reduce anxiety and stress that may significantly decrease fertility
  • Normalize the hormone systems that regulate ovulation
  • Positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that plays a key role in fertility
  • Regulate the menstrual cycle

 

Male factor infertility

It is estimated that male factor infertility is responsible for up to 50% of infertility among couples. Despite scientific medical advances, the cause infertility in about half of these men is still unknown, so there is little to no available medical treatment. This leaves IVF as the only option. Acupuncture and TCM has shown to be very successful in treating low sperm count, poor morphology and decreased motility. One study showed that acupuncture treatment for men increased sperm count and motility in 67% of men in the study. Studies have also shown acupuncture to improve sperm quality, resulting in less chromosomal abnormalities and decreased likelihood of miscarriage.