Acupuncture for Fertility
More and more women today are finding it to be frustratingly difficult to get pregnant. Even after conception, many of my clients face problems bringing their pregnancy to term.
The American Fertility Society defines infertility as occurring when “a couple has one year of regular intercourse without contraception and has been unable to conceive.” There are many factors that may make your conception difficult to achieve, however, research shows using acupuncture to enhance fertility is providing reason for new optimism in the struggle with this old problem. Oriental medicine has been successfully increasing fertility chances for ages.
Benefits of acupuncture for fertility include:
- Acupuncture reduces the stress hormones that interfere with ovulation.
- Hormones that regulate ovulation are stabilized, thereby improving the probability that an egg is released.
- The chances of a fertilized egg implanting are increased due to the enhanced blood flow to the uterus.
- Women with PCOS, which makes getting pregnant difficult, find their ovulation cycles are improved.
- Pregnancy rates are greatly increased for women who are going through IVF.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Women undergoing IVF were much more likely to become pregnant when they combined the procedure with acupuncture, a recent study has shown. The remarkable success rate occurred across seven acupuncture trials involving 1,366 women in a systematic review and meta-analysis published in a February 2008 issue of the British Medical Journal. Acupuncture treatments occurred either just before or just after embryo transfer.
Because acupuncture costs about $80 per session, compared to $6,000 to $10,000 per cycle for IVF, researchers have concluded that acupuncture is a cost-effective, safe and efficient way of boosting success rates when combined with IVF fertility treatment.
A study published in the July 2005 issue of Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture helped men by improving sperm quality. In the research project, 28 men received acupuncture in addition to traditional infertility treatments, while another 12 men received only the traditional treatments. All of the men were diagnosed with infertility of unknown origin. Acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in the sperm of men who received it, although it had no effect on other abnormalities, such as sperm immaturity or premature death.