While acupuncture has been found to be helpful in treating a variety of ailments, from pain management to quitting smoking, recent studies have shown that it can also be beneficial to those experiencing infertility. When used alone, acupuncture is probably most effective for those couples who are experiencing a functional problem, like irregular ovulation, rather than a structural problem, like a blockage in the sperm ducts. Some practitioners will also recommend Chinese herbs for infertility that will supplement the acupuncture and any other treatment you may be receiving. If you take herbs while receiving other medical treatments, be sure to tell your doctor. Some herbs can interfere with the function of fertility drugs and procedures.
Why acupuncture works for infertility problems is still debatable. However, most practicing acupuncturists say that acupuncture helps by regulating your body’s system. This aids in blood flow to the reproductive organs and stabilizes hormone levels. This in turn will increase ovarian function in women as well as sperm production in men.
It can also be used as a complementary form of therapy for women undergoing other fertility treatments. In particular, German and American studies have separately demonstrated that acupuncture increased the rate of pregnancy in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Furthermore, women who received acupuncture also had lower rates of ectopic pregnancies.
Regardless of just how it works, the fact remains that acupuncture is a relatively painless procedure with minimal side effects when done by a professional. If you’d like to talk about acupuncture for fertility with Jessica Fang, our Traditional Chinese Medicine Specialist, call 780-431-9623. Or, request an appointment using our online booking request.
Acupuncture is not a one-time procedure, though. You will need to see your acupuncturist once or twice a week for a series of weeks or possibly even months. A series of up to 12 treatments is normal. Each appointment will take about an hour and should include time for an exam and discussion of your current condition, things you can do yourself at home and any questions you may have.