Acupuncture Treatment for Infertility in Women

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If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for more than a year with no luck, it’s time for you to see a fertility specialist. You or your partner may have something treatable. Many safe and effective therapies exist, according to MayoClinic.com. Acupuncture, combined with in vitro fertilization or used instead of medications, is one of your options.


Acupuncture

Using acupuncture treatment for infertility combines the old with the new. The Chinese have been using acupuncture to treat infertility for centuries. Today, doctors typically only recommend acupuncture after you have already been seeking fertility treatment that is not working, according to WebMD. Acupuncture may help IVF be successful.

The Procedure

Acupuncture works by painlessly placing tiny needles all over your body in a pattern. The needles, practitioners believe, stimulate key energy points that can regulate your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. Sometimes this is what you need to go from infertile to fertile and allows IVF treatments to be more efficient, Dr. James Dillard of Columbia University told WebMD.

Why Use Acupuncture

If you don’t want to use one of the fertility drugs to help you conceive, you might want to try acupuncture. Dr. Raymond Chang, a classically trained acupuncturist and a western-trained medical doctor, told WebMD that acupuncture could stimulate egg production and that using acupuncture to stimulate eggs versus using the fertility drug, Clomid, both give you a 50 percent chance of getting pregnant. This statistic is only for women who are not undergoing IVF. Acupuncture alone cannot produce the multiple eggs necessary to achieve success with IVF.

How Acupuncture Works

The Chinese say that acupuncture works for infertility because it restores your flow of Qi, pronounced “chee.” Qi is your energy that must flow through your body; when it doesn’t, you may become infertile. The Western take on Qi is that acupuncture releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” chemical. Endorphins are partly responsible for your menstrual cycle. Acupuncture also provides better circulation and blood flow to the womb and ovaries, which make for healthier egg production.

Acupuncture Uses

You can use acupuncture to treat spasmed tubes, repeated miscarriage, unexplained infertility, luteal phase defect and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Acupuncture will not work if your infertility is because of a fibroid tumor, a blocked fallopian tube or other such defects. Also, once you are past a certain age, typically 40, you won’t be able to produce the necessary eggs or hormones to get pregnant using only acupuncture.

Advice

If you want to try acupuncture as your first infertility treatment attempt, it’s best if you are young (no older than your mid-30s). Try it for several months to determine if it works. Make sure you see a doctor who has training and a license in acupuncture, with a background in infertility treatment. The doctor should be affiliated with a major academic medical center. The cost for acupuncture varies greatly, according to WebMD, but some insurance policies cover it.

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