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The HRC Fertility Blog is a resource for patients and those seeking infertility related issues and articles. Check back often or subscribe to this blog as it is changed weekly by the HRC staff.

How Acupuncture Benefits Infertility

Does Acupuncture Help Infertility? 

Today many infertility doctors are recommending acupuncture to their patients undergoing infertility treatments. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medical treatment, involves the insertion of fine, yet painless needles, into the body to stimulate specific areas known as energy points. According to ancient Chinese wisdom, these energy points are believed to regulate the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional aspects of the body and are effective in the treatment of many health conditions. Acupuncture stimulates and moves Qi (pronounced "Chee"), the body’s life energy, so it flows easily and unobstructed throughout the body. It is believed that when Qi’s flow is obstructed in the body, a variety of illnesses, such as infertility, may arise. Acupuncture promotes natural healing by improving circulation, reducing stress and restoring balance to the body.

A more western view of how acupuncture aids infertility treatment may be that it has an effect on brain chemistry by increasing the production of endorphins which play a role in regulating the menstrual cycle. It may also increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries thus improving their function.

A trained acupuncturist will treat an infertility patient by placing the needles in the energy points linked to the reproductive organs.

But--does it work?

There were a handful of studies done in 2002 that showed evidence that acupuncture performed in conjunction with IVF improved pregnancy rates. For instance, a study, published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, found higher rates of pregnancy amongst women who received acupuncture along with IVF treatments than women who just received IVF alone.

How acupuncture actually works still remains somewhat of a mystery. However, it should not be regarded as a cure for infertility. Rather, it is recognized as an excellent complementary therapy to traditional fertility treatments. So why not give it a try?

If you are interested in acupuncture for infertility, you should first see a fertility doctor for an evaluation. You should either ask your fertility doctor for an acupuncture referral or seek out a licensed acupuncturist trained in treating infertility.

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