Acupuncture and Fertility
Does acupuncture help to improve your fertility?
I have to say many years ago I was very skeptical about acupuncture and whether it worked or not. But when I started helping couples with issues almost a decade ago I was being asked what my opinion was regarding its benefits for fertility. I am not the kind of person that will dismiss something without researching it especially when so many people kept telling me acupuncture helped them. So I went out myself to a few different acupuncturists to see what my own experience was. I will detail my experience with acupuncture more in another blog post but suffice it to say I saw enough benefit that I dug into the research regarding acupuncture and fertility.
What is Acupuncture and Does It Work?
Acupuncture is based on the theory that vital energy (or “qi,” pronounced “chee”) flows through the body along certain pathways. Acupuncturists try to balance this energy and restore health by stimulating specific points along the pathways with thin needles. Although it has been a staple of Chinese medicine for some 5,000 years, acupuncture has only gained acceptance in the Western medical community in the past few decades.
In 2002, a team of German researchers discovered that acupuncture significantly increased the odds of pregnancy among a group of 160 women who were undergoing IVF treatment. Forty-two per cent of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant, compared to 26 per cent of those who didn’t receive the treatment.
More recently, a meta analysis, which is a research studying comparing several different research studies and their outcomes, concluded that “Current evidence identified from this review suggested that acupuncture may be effective in the treatment of female infertility. The conclusion of this present review is limited by the low quality of the included studies.” You can find that study here.
The use of acupuncture specifically for fertility purposes with IVF is still a bit controversial as more larger scale studies are needed. However in my practice I have seen significant improvement with acupuncture in conjunction with our program The Five Step Fertility Solution.
Acupuncture can certainly address the stress of dealing with fertility treatments and the difficulty regarding fertility issues in general. And there are suggestions that it may increase blood flow to the uterus and possibly to the ovaries as well. And some fertility treatment experts also agree that it can be helpful for male fertility as well such as in this article here.
Whether I recommend acupuncture would really depend on the person’s circumstance and what, if it can be determined, is the probable cause for the fertility issues. Often acupuncture can be used in conjunction with our program and there is no doubt that it has been proven to be safe when done by a reputable practitioner.
Should I do acupuncture to help with my fertility?
I would suggest to speak to your health practitioner about whether your case may warrant utilizing acupuncture and give it some thought if you are having an IVF procedure coming up. Many IVF clinics now have acupuncturists that they recommend. And if not, then word of mouth is always a good way to find an experienced practitioner.
A couple with a son had been trying for 6.5 years to create a sibling for him. She has become pregnant at 44 through IVF with twins. She is now in her second trimester doing well. These were her own eggs and not a donor. She had utilized our program off an on since she was 41 but was reluctant to take a break from IVF due to her age. As her hopes began to fade she finally stopped having procedure after procedure for a while and did our program along with a healthy lifestyles program run by her IVF clinic. We worked primarily on her adrenals and some support of her thyroid for a good 8 months and she implemented an optimal diet and supplementation program as well as the valuable info that she learned through the healthy lifestyles program.
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