Acupuncture DOES work for fertility.
More Info: According to new research, acupuncture can help infertile couples conceive when combined with assisted reproductive technologies.
As infertility remains to be widespread in the United States, with 7.3 million women with impaired ability to have children and 2.1 million women infertile, patients are turning to alternative medicine to treat this problem, despite the availability of treatments offered by Western medicine.
Acupuncture and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
Assisted reproductive technologies or ART consist of treatments such as intra-uterine insemination, in vitro fertilization or IVF and medications that promote ovulation in women. Despite the low to moderate success rate of ART, with only 10 to 35% of women able to conceive after pursuing such treatments, it is still the treatment most infertile couples turn to because it is highly recommended by fertility doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists.
Meanwhile, acupuncture has proven to be an effective fertility treatment when combine with ART.
Studies on Acupuncture Treatments for Infertility
In a recent review in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, researchers noted that acupuncture may have a role in regulating the female menstrual cycle and recommended that further studies be conducted to explore acupuncture as an independent and alternative treatment to infertility.
However, most studies will point to acupuncture as an aid in improving the beneficial outcome of ART treatments. The study conducted by Dr. Westergaard et al entitled “Acupuncture on Embryo Transfer Day Improves IVF Outcome”, shows that infertile patients who underwent acupuncture therapy in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization treatments were able to successfully conceive. Thus, the study confirmed theories that acupuncture administered on the day of embryo transfer will improve the reproductive outcome of the in vitro fertilization treatment significantly.
Electroacupuncture and Infertility
Despite the lack of evidence to show that acupuncture used alone as an infertility treatment is sufficient, another form of acupuncture, called electroacupunture, has also proven effective in treating infertility. Electroacupuncture is the procedure used to describe acupuncture treatments that use needles attached with electric currents to further intensify the effects of traditional acupuncture. Electroacupuncture treatments alone, without ART, have the effect of curing women who do not ovulate or ovulate irregularly.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tampa Bay Wellness
“Acupuncture for Infertility”
Fertility and Sterility Journal
“Acupuncture on Embryo Transfer Day Improves IVF Outcome”