Many modern researchers have confirmed its benefit in the following areas:
- Regulating menstrual cycles & ovulation
- Invigorating sperm and enhancing a man’s sperm count and motility
- Enhancing general health
- Reducing stress, controlling anxiety, enhancing sleep and increasing energy levels
- Balancing endocrine systems
- Improving blood flow in pelvic cavity.
- Increasing the chances of pregnancy for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Good candidates for acupuncture are people who have a functional, rather than structural reason for infertility.
Infertility due to hormonal problems, PCOS, endometriosis, immune disorders, amenorrhoea, irregular menstruation, luteal phase defect, stress and age related factors all fall into the category of functional infertility.
Stress can dramatically decrease fertility in both men and women. Acupuncture increases fertility by reducing stress.
Acupuncture and in-vitro fertilization
A study, published in the April, 2002 edition of the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, found that acupuncture increases the chances of becoming pregnant for a significant number of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Researchers included 160 patients undergoing IVF for the study. The patients, who were all required to have good quality embryos, were evenly and randomly divided into two groups similar in age and diagnosis. When the patients were examined using ultrasound six weeks after their IVF procedures, the differences in pregnancy rates were notable. In the control group, 26 percent of the women, or 21 out of 80 patients, became pregnant. Of the patients who had received acupuncture treatments, 42 percent of the women, 34 out of 80, became pregnant. Most patients who receieve acupuncture prior and during their IVF cycles report a significant reduction in their stress, anxiety and depression while going through their cycle.
When is Acupuncture NOT the appropriate therapy?
I do not believe this to be the appropriate, stand alone, therapy for infertility involving structural modifications, such as fallopian tube damage (not blockage). HOWEVER, you can still receive acupuncture in conjunction with western modalities such as IVF with structural causes for infertlity.
Men & Infertility
In 50% of infertile couples, the male is the one with the problem. Whether from low motility, low sperm count or erectile dysfunction, men can also benefit from Acupuncture treatments. It is generally recommended to receive treatments for 2-4 months. Most men have reported significant improvements after a course of treatment. For any specific concerns, please contact our office for more information to see if you would be a good candidate for acupuncture.