Some people experiencing infertility may contemplate alternative or complementary treatments, including acupuncture, to aid them in conceiving. In the information below, we highlight our findings on whether or not acupuncture is an effective reproductive health treatment. As always, we suggest consulting with your general practitioner or OBYGN before receiving acupuncture treatment for infertility.
Can Acupuncture Improve Reproductive Health?
The ancient art of infertility treatment
If headlines are any suggestion of what’s hot and what’s not, it is easy to believe that infertility treatment is strictly a modern-day science, made possible solely through the courtesy of high-tech, western medicine. However, as good as modern science is, many couples attempting to get pregnant find themselves turning to an age-old traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment for help.
Today, even high-tech procreative specialists are looking to the slightly mysterious world of Chinese medicine and acupuncture to help patients experiencing fertility problems. Acupuncture treatments include inserting tiny needles into the body in a grid-like pattern across acupuncture points. Acupuncture needles help to stimulate certain key energy points and help control spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical balance.
“It can assist you to cross the line from infertile to fertile by helping your body function more efficiently, which in turn permits for other more modern reproductive treatments, like IVF, to also work more efficiently,” says James Dillard, MD, assistant clinical professor, Columbia University.
How many acupuncture treatments do you need?
Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can be beneficial in boosting fertility. However, the number of sessions will depend on your medical history, and how you respond to acupuncture treatment. Usually, ten to twelve sessions are a good starting point.
How long does acupuncture take to work for infertility?
It takes around one to three months for acupuncture to help a woman get pregnant naturally. Nonetheless, natural conception can take place earlier if the man and woman also make modifications to their lifestyle and diet. Acupuncture fertility treatment can be enhanced by consuming Chinese Fertility herbs.
When should you get acupuncture for fertility?
Generally speaking, if you are a woman trying to conceive, the best time for acupuncture treatments is during the follicular phase – days 5, 6, 7, or 8.
Does acupuncture improve egg quality?
In addition to improving the quality of your eggs and ovaries, acupuncture also can help your uterine lining. Experts suggest patients follow the female acupuncture protocol for at least 12 weeks before starting in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
Another point of view
There is at present no irrefutable evidence to suggest that acupuncture does or does not improve fertility. Research from 2017 found that there was not sufficient evidence to support using acupuncture to treat infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
A 2018 study examined the effects of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture on live births among women undergoing in-vitro fertilization. Researchers concluded that the difference was negligible. The scientists studied 800 women and concluded that they do not support acupuncture as a complementary therapy for infertility.
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Southlake Natural Family Wellness
Our mission is to support the health and well-being of our patients by offering individualized, comprehensive holistic care including acupuncture, herbal recommendations, customized nutritional counseling, allergy elimination (NAET), whole food supplements, lifestyle suggestions, moxibustion, and cupping, as well as helping couples get pregnant and STAY pregnant by supporting all the paths to conception.
About Farrah Hamraie
Farrah Hamraie, L.Ac, MOM, Dipl.OM (NCCAOM), is licensed and board-certified in Acupuncture and Herbal medicine in the State of Texas with a Masters of Oriental Medicine from the Dallas College of Oriental Medicine. She is also a Diplomat of NCCAOM (the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), a Board Certified Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and a member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine.