Acupuncture, a staple of Chinese medicine for approximately 5,000 years is based on the principle that “qi”, pronounced “chi” (aka vital energy) flows through the body along various pathways. Due to its effectiveness, the practice has attained acceptance in America’s medical community over the last few decades. Acupuncturists use their craft to balance energy and restore health, as well as improve fertility by stimulating specific points along the pathways using thin needles.
Acupuncture and Fertility
According to a number of studies over the years, acupuncture improves fertility by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, minimizes stress and helps keep the endocrine system (hormones) in balance. From a Chinese Medicine viewpoint, the goal of an infertility treatment isn’t just about getting pregnant, it’s about staying pregnant and delivering a healthy baby at term says the experts at CT Fertility Treatment.
When used along with Western fertility treatments, research has shown that acupuncture can increase conception rates by approximately 26%. A study from Tel Aviv University recently reported that when Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and traditional Chinese treatments (TCM) were combined, 65.5% of the test group conceived, in contrast to 39.4% of the control group that didn’t receive acupuncture or herbal therapy which was also tested. For the over 4 million couples that face infertility per year, acupuncture just may be the answer.
Fertility Drugs vs. Acupuncture
Even though the fertility drugs that are prescribed for women can result in a 20 to 60% pregnancy rate, they also come with side effects that include bloating, abdominal tenderness, nausea, fluid retention and some studies indicated that they might cause breast cancer. In contrast, acupuncture infertility treatment produces little or no side effects while at the same time perform similar functionality as the fertility drug treatments. What they have in common is that they stimulate the hypothalamus, effectively balancing the endocrine system and hormones, as well as get to the origin of female/male infertility.
Possible Placebo Effect
Other studies, when comparing real vs. fake acupuncture infertility treatment suggested that acupuncture’s role in fertility success could also be associated with the placebo effect. The fact is that, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter very much whether or not the success of acupuncture that someone experiences is really a placebo effect. The point is that acupuncture is considered a safe alternative, and if it helps improve fertility, even if it ends up being only because you believe it does, it’s still a worthwhile alternative if the end result is a healthy baby. Despite the fact that the scientific debate continues, it’s useful to note that there hasn’t been a study to date that has uncovered any negative side effects of acupuncture used in combination with In vitro fertilization (IVF). Another consideration is that the cost of acupuncture is minimal when compared to the cost of IVF
Before you do anything, the best first step when it comes to dealing with any fertility problem is to contact a specialist. If you decide to try the more natural option, acupuncture, find a reputable certified acupuncturist, the majority of which are also medical doctors.