Acupuncture Infertility

Acupuncture Infertility- is one of the safest and most effective treatments for Fertility known to modern science.Infertility isn’t usually a physical problem. It’s often an issue related to circulation or energy channels that govern the vitality of your body’s organs (including reproductive organs). Rebalancing those bioelectric channels can create enormous healing changes in the function of your reproductive organs.

Acupuncture for Infertility is non-invasive, the needles are virtually painless and barely enter the skin. That’s a huge contrast to the highly invasive (and embarrassing) probing, inserting, extracting, injecting and poking around typically undertaken by conventional infertility clinics.

 

Acupuncture for Infertility

A study found that auricular acupuncture was capable of producing results comparable to those of drug therapy in the treatment of infertility. I. Gerhard and F. Postneek, [Possibilities of Therapy by Ear Acupuncture in Female Sterility], Geburtshilfe Frauenheilke 48, no. 3 (March 1988): 165-71. A study examined the effects of moxibustion and acupuncture on 30 cases of infertility in women ranging from 24 to 37 years of age. Results showed that after just one course of treatment 9 women conceived, with another 8 conceiving after 2 courses of treatment.

– The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Dr. Gary Null

In China, acupuncture has been used in the treatment of infertility for centuries. The first published account of this is seen in medical literature dating back to 11 A.D. The Chinese look at five principal organs – the liver, spleen, heart, lung, and kidney – and use acupuncture to release blockages from these systems so that energy or chi can move freely. This helps the body return to good health. Promoting fertility is one benefit that can be obtained. Acupuncture to kidney points releases psychological blocks that interfere with reproduction.

The women treated with acupuncture? Twenty-two pregnancies (and no side effects). Finally, a study at the Fertility Clinic Trianglen in Denmark concluded that “acupuncture … significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) compared to no acupuncture.” Best of all, acupuncture for infertility is truly a “whole person” treatment that looks at the woman as much more than just a dysfunctional reproductive system. “People come into my office and they’re completely unprepared for conception,” Lawrence told me.

– The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

In a preliminary trial, women who did not ovulate were treated with acupuncture 30 times over three months. Effectiveness was determined by a combination of measures indicating ovulation was returning to normal. Acupuncture treatment resulted in a marked improvement in 35% and slight improvement in 48% of trial participants. The beneficial results achieved with acupuncture may be due to alterations in the hormonal messages from the brain to the ovary. Auricular (ear) acupuncture has been studied in a preliminary trial and compared with standard hormone therapy for treatment of infertility.

– The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.

The World Health Organization has published a list of over fifty diseases successfully treated with acupuncture. Included on the list are sinusitis, asthma, arthritis, the common cold, headaches (including migraine), constipation, diarrhea, sciatica, and lower back pain. Acupuncture has also been effective in the treatment of allergies, addictions, insomnia, stress, depression, infertility, and menstrual problems. Chinese herbs are the most common element of Chinese medicine as it is currently practiced in China.

– Sinus Survival: The Holistic Medical Treatment for Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, and Sinusitis (rev., 3rd ed.) by Robert Ivker

One small, preliminary study found that auricular acupuncture (acupuncture of the ear) was as effective as hormone therapy in treating infertility due to endometriosis.

– The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.

There are other situations such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful. Indeed, one of those areas of “further research” has been infertility. And the results have been hard to argue with.

– The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

A controlled study of men with reduced sperm function found that one measure of sperm function significantly improved in the men treated with acupuncture (two times per week for five weeks) compared to controls. Similar results have been reported in other studies. Nevertheless, double-blind trials are needed to determine conclusively whether acupuncture is a useful treatment for male infertility.

– The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.

Hirsh sees many patients in conjunction with Western doctors for infertility problems and is able to design acupuncture treatments that complement and support the other medical procedures. He frequently gives acupuncture treatment to women who have just been artificially inseminated, and he works with patients taking Clomid (a fertility drug) to help regulate the woman’s fertility cycle. As Dr. Hirsh states, “Traditional Chinese medicine can increase the success rate of Western medicine and at the same time slow down the clock on a woman’s aging endocrine system.”

– Alternative Medicine the Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Larry Trivieri, Jr.

Infertility rates have increased dramatically in the last decade with one in six North American couples experiencing troubles conceiving.  This is an extremely difficult time for most couples, a roller coaster of emotions, frustration, anger, sadness and regret.  Traditional Chinese medicine has been treating infertility for over 2000 years and has recently been gaining acceptance in the west as a valuable method of restoring reproductive health.  Traditional Chinese medicine believes that all aspects of your life, emotional, pyhsical and spiritual have an impact on fertility.  Traditional Chinese medicine provides gentle yet effective, natural safe and cost effective treatment for infertility.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can improve your reproductive health in several ways:

Acupuncture has been proven to reduce stress; this is very important when trying to conceive as stress reduces blood flow to the reproductive organs and negatively effects hormonal balance.  A 2001 study from the University of California, San Diego found that women with high stress were 93% less likely to become pregnant.

Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus which thickens the endometrial lining for implantation

Acupuncture strengthens the immune system for overall health and wellbeing

Acupuncture improves ovarian function and the release of follicles.

Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to the ovaries to produce a larger number of follicles and better quality eggs.

Acupuncture has a proven effect on the hypothalamus and the release of hormones throughout the body.  Acupuncture can balance hormonal levels to regulate menstruation and ovulation.

Acupuncture improves sperm count, motility and morphology.  Researchers found that acupuncture treament reduced the number of structural abnormalities in sperm and increased the overall number of sperm.  The medical journal Fertilty and Sterility, July 2005 reported that acupuncture therapy led to a significant increase in the motility levels of sperm and the percentage of healthy sperm increasing more than 4 times aftger 10 visits.

Acupuncture lessens the side effects from hormonal treatments and increases in-vitro fertilization success rates.  A study from Germany found that acupuncture immediately before and after IVF embryo transfer increases the success rates from 26% to 43%.  A study produced by the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Center in Colorado Springs has found that acupuncture can increase the success rates of IVF treatment 51% of women in the acupuncture treatment group became pregnant compared to 36% of those not receiving acupuncture.

Acupuncture reduces the chances fo miscarriage.  A study by the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Center in Colorado Springs found that acupuncture significantly reduces the miscarriage rate from 20% not receiving acupuncture with their IVF treatment to 8% of women combining acupuncture with their IVF protocol.  Acupuncture also significantly lessens the chances of ectopic pregnancy.

Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to naturally prepare the body for conception and a healthy full term baby.  Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, herbal medicine; diet and lifestyle suggestions which seek to balance the body and restore reproductive health naturally in both males and females.  Traditional Chinese medicine can be used alone or combined with western fertility treatments.

Traditional Chinese medicine focuses not only on reproductive health but also the general health of the individual.  This includes energy levels, sleep patterns, digestion, elimination, stress levels and emotions.  By improving the whole system (body) a healthy environment is created which optimizes the egg and sperm quality as well creating a good envoironment for implantation and maintaining a full term pregnancy.

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine Helps With

  • hormonal imbalance
  • unexplained infertility
  • amenorrhea
  • luteal phase defect
  • anovulation
  • endometriosis
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • uterine fibroids
  • recurrent miscarriage
  • advanced maternal age
  • male factor infertility

 

Acupuncture for Infertility

The research on acupuncture and infertility is ongoing, and the topic is controversial. Some studies have been too small to prove a definitive connection to improved pregnancy rates, and some studies contradict each other in their results.

 

With that said, here are a few of possible benefits of acupuncture, according to the preliminary research:

  • Improved pregnancy rates during IVF treatment cycles, when acupuncture takes place on the day of embryo transfer
  • Increased blood flow to the uterus, leading to an improved endometrial lining
  • Reduced stress and anxiety levels
  • Possible improvement in ovulation for women with PCOS
  • Possible improvement in sperm count and quality in men with infertility
  • Possible regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which in turn could help regulate ovulation

 

Sources:

Domar AD, Meshay I, Kelliher J, Alper M, Powers RD. “The impact of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization outcome.” Fertility and Sterility. Mar 1, 2008. [Epub ahead of print]

Huang ST, Chen AP. “Traditional Chinese medicine and infertility.” Current Opinions in Obstetrics and Gynecology. June 2008; 20(3):211-5.

Jones JP, Bae YK. “Ultrasonic Visualization and Stimulation of Classical Oriental Acupuncture Points.” Medical Acupuncture. Vol. 15, Issue 2. Accessed online on October 19, 2008. http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/journal/vol15_2/article3.html

Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Bouter LM. “Effect of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis.” British Medical Journal. March 8, 2008; 336(7643):545-9. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Ng EH, So WS, Gao J, Wong YY, Ho PC. “The role of acupuncture in the management of subfertility.” Fertility and Sterility. July 2008; 90(1):1-13. Epub 2008 Apr 28.

Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. “Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.” Fertility and Sterility. April 2002; 77(4):721-4.

Sullivan, Michele G. “Study Questions Benefit of Acupuncture in IVF.” Ob. Gyn. News. Volume 42, Issue 21, Page 21 (1 November 2007). Accessed on October 19, 2008. http://www.obgynnews.com/article/PIIS0029743707709217/fulltext