Ovation Fertility, Partner Physicians Discuss Acupuncture for Infertility
Because we understand that our patients want to do everything possible to maximize their chance for success when it comes to infertility treatment, the teams at Ovation Fertility and our partner physicians continuously investigate new options, including less conventional therapies, such as acupuncture for infertility.
We stay at the forefront of alternatives so that our patients can have the relevant details necessary to make informed decisions. Based on thorough research, Ovation and our partner fertility specialists believe that, for some patients, acupuncture for infertility may serve as a viable addition to the traditional treatments.
Acupuncture for Infertility Blends Eastern and Western Medicine
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine treatment, involves placing tiny needles along specific acupuncture points linked to systems of the body (meridians). In infertility treatment, the goal of acupuncture is to improve circulation, regulate hormones and reduce inflammation in the reproductive system. Additionally, acupuncture aids in relaxation, which may reduce the production of stress hormones.
If you have certain structural problems or damage to your reproductive organs, acupuncture for infertility may not be a successful complementary treatment; however, even in such cases, our Ovation partner physicians may suggest acupuncture in conjunction with fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or ovulation stimulation.
Acupuncture for Infertility in Females
Many of our partner fertility centers have relationships with a complementary medicine centers. Several published studies have demonstrated that – when paired with in vitro fertilization – acupuncture for infertility may raise pregnancy rates. One large recent study reviewed seven previously published clinical trials in which acupuncture was administered within one day of the embryo transfer for women undergoing IVF. The reviewers’ findings indicated that acupuncture, used in combination with IVF treatments, increased the odds of pregnancy. Researchers believe that more studies need to be conducted to confirm these results.
Acupuncture for Infertility in Males
Acupuncture for infertility also may offer benefits for the male partner, particularly when sperm quality creates an issue.
A recent study found that men with unexplained (idiopathic) male infertility who underwent acupuncture treatment twice a week for five weeks had an increase in the number of normal sperm, as well as a reduction in structural abnormalities in their sperm.
The researchers concluded that adding acupuncture to the infertility treatment plan for some men may prove helpful. Some sperm issues (such as sperm death or immature sperm) appear to be unaffected by acupuncture, so you should consider a consultation with one of our Ovation partner physicians or your physician to discuss which treatments will work best for you.
Tips before starting acupuncture treatments
- Consult with your physician before beginning acupuncture for infertility treatment, especially if you are currently undergoing fertility treatment.
- Do not add herbal supplements without consulting your physician if you are currently receiving traditional fertility treatment or medications.
Consider speaking with your physician about how acupuncture for infertility may be incorporated into your fertility treatment plan.