How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work?
When used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. A recent study from Tel Aviv University reports, ““When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.”
For the many couples experiencing infertility each year, acupuncture may be just help.
Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research.
Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 12 major pathways, called meridians.
Other research does suggest that acupuncture is effective in reducing stress. Since stress has been shown to interfere with getting pregnant, it makes sense that reducing your stress through that could theoretically improve your odds of conceiving. Some women find that helpful to cope with the stress they feel about trying to conceive.
Acupuncture may also help male infertility. A few studies have shown that regular treatments significantly improve sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim).
Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi , or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result.
It helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving.
Acupuncture infertility treatment can improve almost every cause of this obstacle. While 40 percent of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40 percent is caused by problems in the male, such as low sperm count or motility.
The cause of female infertility stems from problems such as an ovulation and endometriosis. The remaining 20 percent is caused by unknown factors.
One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortizol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neuro-chemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle.
While the fertility drugs commonly prescribed for women can produce a 20 to 60 percent pregnancy rate, they also commonly include such side effects as abdominal tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and nausea. Some studies show that they may also cause breast cancer.
Acupuncture infertility treatment, by contrast, produces few or no side effects while performing the same function as the drugs do: stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of female infertility as well as male infertility.