Our Ovation Fertility™ partner physicians discuss the benefits of acupuncture for infertility
Because we understand that our patients want to cover all the bases when it comes to infertility treatment, the teams at our Ovation Fertility™ centers continuously investigate new options, including less conventional therapies such as acupuncture.
We stay abreast of these alternatives so that our patients can have the relevant details necessary to make informed decisions. Based on thorough research, our fertility specialists believe acupuncture may serve as a viable counterpart to the traditional treatments we offer in our fertility clinics.
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 will not be a successful complementary treatment for infertility; however, our Ovation Fertility 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. Currently, acupuncture functions as an augmentation to treatment for specific fertility issues.
- Elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Luteal phase defect
- Unexplained (idiopathic) infertility
- Ovulation stimulation
When paired with in vitro fertilization, IVF treatments, initial results show acupuncture to be effective. One study reviewed 7 different clinical trials in which acupuncture was administered within one day of the embryo transfer for women undergoing IVF.
The reviewers’ findings indicated that acupuncture, utilized 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 treatments may also offer benefits for male infertility, particularly when sperm quality creates an issue.
A study found that men with unexplained (idiopathic) male infertility who underwent acupuncture treatment twice a week for 5 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 will need to consult with one of our Ovation Fertility™ partner physicians to discuss which treatments will work for you.
Tips from our Ovation Fertility™ partner physicians before starting acupuncture treatments
- Consult with your physician before beginning acupuncture treatments, especially if you are currently undergoing fertility treatment.
- Do not add herbal supplements without consulting your physician if you are currently receiving traditional fertility treatments or medications.
At our Ovation Fertility™ partner centers, we understand that our patients want to maximize their chances for success. For more information about how acupuncture may be incorporated into your fertility treatment plan, please contact us to schedule a consultation.