Alternative Medicine

Acupuncture and Infertility

If you are trying to conceive a child and have been having trouble doing so, you know it can be a very emotional and frustrating time.  Each month that passes brings new challenges and new worries.  There are some things you can try that are not traditional fertility treatments if you feel like you would like to possibly boost your chances of conception.  Acupuncture has been shown to help in couples undergoing IVF treatment.  Whether or not acupuncture improved overall fertility (outside of fertility treatments) has not yet been definitely determined.  According to Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is “the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body.”   It can increase blood flow, stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue and can regulate overall body function.  With many modern advancements in fertility treatments, something as ancient as acupuncture can often fall by the wayside.  However, fertility treatments, while sometimes effective on their own, are expensive and invasive.  The seemingly simple treatment of acupuncture can be a great alternative or compliment to the treatment of infertility.

Importance Of Prenatal CareThe use of acupuncture when undergoing fertility treatments such as IVF is a growing trend because many people are seeing positive results.  According to WebMD, “even high-tech reproductive specialists are looking to the somewhat mysterious worl dof Chinese medicine to help those fertility patients for whom western science alone is not quite enough.”  The benefits of acupuncture are being seen by both patients and doctors.  When undergoing acupuncture, needles will be placed in a grid like pattern all over the body.  This can help stimulate energy points and helps your body function more efficiently.  By encouraging your body to function more efficiently it can also encourage fertility treatments being introduced to the body to function more efficiently.  Acupuncture increases blood flow to the body, which can encourage additional blood flow to the endometrium, results in a thick endometrial lining, which is important to fertility.  It can be most effective to be treated for a few months with acupuncture prior to beginning an IVF cycle.  Studies have shown that pregnancy rates in women undergoing fertility treatments who also use acupuncture were much higher than women who did not use acupuncture during their fertility treatments.  According to Dr. Raymond Chang, “When you compare the pregnancy rates for an egg producing drug such as clomid to acupuncture alone, the rates are equal – a 50% chance of pregnancy in 3 months for general patients –  to those not undergoing IVF.”  Essentially, for some patients, even acupuncture alone may be enough to help stimulate the body and boost conception.  Acupuncture is not just for females when trying to conceive.  Acupuncture can also help improve male fertility as well as overall quality of sperm.

Conceiving a child should be a joyous time, but for many, the road to conception can be a difficult and trying time with many frustrations.  With such a great option as acupuncture, if nothing else, it is worth giving it a try as a compliment to fertility treatments so that you can have the peace of mind that you have tried everything you can.  You never know, an ancient practice could be the key to the beginning of your family.

October 31, 2012
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