Facing infertility causes overwhelming anguish among millions of couples who experience it every year. With all the home remedies and fertility drugs on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to treatments for increasing your odds of conceiving. Modern healthcare has opened the door to many seemingly novel treatments, such as acupuncture. While it has become very popular in recent years, it is actually a traditional Chinese medicine practiced for thousands of years.
What Is the Purpose of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is performed by inserting ultra-thin, sterile needles into acupressure points on the body. These points lie on what are called channels or meridians, and when needled, they can regulate bodily functions. Often, acupuncturists also prescribe herbal medicine with acupuncture to boost fertility naturally.
Acupuncture proponents claim it may improve fertility naturally in the following ways, without the need for any medication or invasive procedure:
- Increasing blood flow to the endometrium in the uterus, which provides a thicker, richer lining to the uterine wall, for a fertilized egg to adhere more easily
- Regulating hormones, including increased endorphin production and lowering stress hormone levels
- Increasing fertility hormones, including the follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol, and progesterone
Will Acupuncture Help Me Conceive?
When used in conjunction with Western medicine, such as in-vitro fertilization, acupuncture has been shown to increase the chance of conceiving by as much as 65%. However, definitive peer-reviewed medical research has yet to make a determination on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a fertility treatment.
You may be a good candidate for acupuncture if you have unexplained infertility, a luteal phase defect, or elevated follicle stimulating hormones. Certain causes of infertility, however, do not respond to acupuncture therapy. For example, acupuncture cannot be used to treat tubal adhesions caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. There is not enough evidence to determine whether it is an effective fertility treatment for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Whether acupuncture is right for you is a question you should ask your doctor. Your fertility specialist can help determine if you are a good candidate for acupuncture or any other complementary fertility treatments. At Palm Beach Fertility Center, we can help you determine if acupuncture may benefit you and answer any of your questions regarding its effectiveness.
Ready to learn more about acupuncture from our board-certified fertility specialists? Contact us at Palm Beach Fertility Center at (888) 819-5177 or book an appointment online.