Acupuncture for Fertility
It comes as no surprise that acupuncture and herbal medicines in the treatment of infertility have reached a zenith in their development and in their efficacy, considering the patriarchal nature of the Chinese culture and its inherent emphasis on the hereditary passing of governmental and societal positions. The inability of a monarch (or any person of power or position for that matter) to produce an heir was certainly considered catastrophic and not easily accepted. The treatment of infertility, therefore, became the purview of the best court physicians of the time, and a considerable amount of time, money, and energy were spent searching out the best, most effective way of treating this vexing diagnosis.
Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbal medicine comprise the oldest medical system in the world. Evidence suggests that acupuncture has been in use since as early as 300 B.C. Literally thousands of years of research and development have gone into the system we currently have in acupuncture fertility care. Acupuncture is effective in treating all functional aspects of infertility including advanced maternal age, endometriosis, luteal phase defect, polycystic ovarian syndrome, premature ovarian failure, and unexplained infertility. Acupuncture modulated the function of the hypothalmic-pituitary-ovarian axis, normalizing sex hormones. Acupuncture increases pelvic circulation, relieving menstrual cramping and endometrial issues. Acupuncture improves the thickness and structure of the endometrial lining, and may have a beneficial effect on egg quality.
In the same way that acupuncture effects female infertility, it is frequently used in the treatment of male infertility as well. While the anatomy of the male is obviously different from the female, the energetic function of the male is quite similar and the treatment principles remain intact. Increasing and enhancing pelvic blood flow is universally beneficial, and regulation of the hypothalmic-pituitary-testicular axis regulates male hormonal function as well as it does female. Acupuncture has been shown to affect all parameters of sperm analysis, as well as male sexual function.
Over the last twenty years or so there has been an increasing interest by Western doctors in acupuncture for the treatment of many disorders, including, but not limited to, both female and male infertility. Many fertility clinics have begun to incorporate acupuncture care into their IVF and IUI treatment protocols. Modern, western style (double-blind, placebo controlled) studies have indicated the effectiveness of acupuncture in increasing IVF success. Many IVF clinics are now referring their patients to acupuncture care, and some have even added acupuncturists to their staff. Mainstream OB/Gyns have begun referring their patients for the treatment of endometriosis, menstrual cramping, and menopausal symptoms.
At Acupuncture Fertility Specialists, we specialize in the treatment of both male and female infertility. We are not general practice acupuncturists, and rarely treat any diagnosis other than male or female infertility. All advanced training that our practitioner pursue is centered on one goal, and that is helping our patients to become parents. We frequently train in non-acupuncture related modalities, including western endocrinology, nutrition, nutriceutical supplementation and western diagnostic testing in order to have a fully rounded repertoire with which we might help the patient to achieve and maintain pregnancy. We feel that this focused effort makes us the best in our field.
ART- Assisted Reproductive Technology, IVF and IUI
C-Map Protocol to help good egg quality preparation for Egg Retrieval
Transfers for NCFMC, Cal IVF & Kaiser
View Studies on Acupuncture for Fertility:
Web MD: The Ancient Art of Infertility Treatment [PDF download]
Stress and oocytes [PDF download]
Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation [PDF download]