Acupuncture can be seen as an alternative way of treating fertility problems.
If you fall under any of the following you may want to seek specialized reproductive assistance:
Regular unprotected intercourse with no pregnancy for a year
Trying to conceive for at least 6 months when 35 years of age or older
Irregular or difficult menstrual cycles
A history of pelvic pain, infections, uterine fibroids, cysts, endometriosis
Abdominal or reproductive surgery
Two or more miscarriages
Male problems that may alert you to a problem may include:
Low sperm count, motility, morphology
Prostatitis, urinary infections
Methods of Impregnation:
The following is a list, from preferred to less preferred, of methods of impregnation:Sexual intercourse
Fresh sperm preferred over frozen
Intra Uterine Insemination: If after 6 months of no results with Artificial Insemination, the problem may lie with the sperm. Check the possibility of using fresh sperm: there may be a difference as great as 40-50%.
For a variety of reasons, predominately social and environmental, concerns surrounding the difficulty in conceiving have risen in recent years. Many women and couples are seeking the assistance of reproductive endocrinologists. This is encouraged.
Additionally, acupuncture and traditional oriental herbal medicine have had many years of success in assisting fertility. Current studies in the US and Europe are yielding very promising results (see the article following: “Acupuncture Has Fertility Boosting Benefits”). There is also much anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture and herbal medicine in the enhancement of fertility.
Regardless of the method of impregnation, or the imbalance/pathology involved (with the exception of a complete lack of eggs or tubal blockage due to large fibroids), acupuncture and oriental herbal medicine can significantly improve the chances of conception. Whether in conjunction with Western medicine or by itself, Traditional Chinese Medicine can appreciably enhance fertility.
How Can Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine Help?
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine incorporate thousands of years of clinical study, observation, and treatment of difficult conception. In the last 30 years with the introduction of Traditional Chinese Medicine into Europe and North America, we have seen an exponential increase in interest and studies pointing to the efficacy of this medicine in treating a variety of imbalances/illnesses ranging from depression to chronic and acute pain to infertility.
In brief, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help improve fertility in a number of ways:
Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
Increase blood flow to the uterus; increase the thickness of the uterine lining
Prevent the uterus from contracting
Strengthen the immune system
Improve the volume, count, motility and morphology of the semen
Decrease the chance of miscarriage
Acupuncture Has Fertility Boosting Benefits
New York, NY (April 29, 2003)—Physician-scientists at the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CRMI) at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center call for a definitive study of acupuncture as a fertility treatment, citing its numerous, promising benefits associated with increasing fertility.
An article in a recent issue of Fertility and Sterility—co-authored by Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, Dr. Pak H. Chung, and Dr. Raymond Chang of Weill Cornell—provides a summary of current research that supports acupuncture’s potential benefits for fertility treatment, including the stimulation of increased uterine blood flow and fertility hormones.
“Acupuncture, which is nontoxic and relatively affordable, holds much promise as a complementary or alternative fertility treatment,” said Dr. Raymond Chang of New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.
“Yet, while there are a great number of biological explanations for acupuncture’s benefit to fertility, as well as significant anecdotal evidence, there has yet to be a definitive clinical study,” added Dr. Rosenwaks, Director of CRMI.
“One of the biggest obstacles to any study of acupuncture is a single standard of care,” said Dr. Pak H Chung. “Only appropriate training and certification of acupuncture practitioners by state agencies can facilitate the integration of acupuncture into the treatment of female infertility, and health care in general.”
The lead review article reports that acupuncture treatment has the following potential fertility-boosting benefits:
Increased blood flow to the uterus and therefore uterine wall thickness, and important marker for fertility;
Increased endorphin production, which, in turn, has been shown to effect the release of a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a decapeptide involved in regulating reproduction;
Lower stress hormones responsible for infertility;
Impact on plasma levels of the fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P);
Normalization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, a key process in fertility;
A positive effect for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance present in three percent of adolescents and adults.
Acupuncture is the manipulation of thin metallic needles inserted into anatomically defined locations on the body to affect bodily functions. These so-called acupoints correspond to areas on the surface of the body that have been shown to have greater electrical conductance do to the presence of a higher density of gap junctions along cell borders. A greater metabolic rate, temperature, and calcium ion concentration are also observed at these points.”Look for an acupuncturist with formal training and experience in the treatment .