Asian medicine is effective as treatment for infertility and
in conjunction with fertility medications and procedures. Many people try
Asian medicine first, before attempting assisted reproductive therapies. Not
only is it a fraction of the cost, but also the body will be more receptive
to fertility medications if assisted therapies are needed. For many couples
that have unexplained infertility, acupuncture and herbs are very effective
with high success rates.
The reason is that a root imbalance can be detected from a holistic point of
view and thereby treated successfully. Acupuncture, together with herbal
medicine can help regulate the menstrual cycle, invigorate the sperm and
create a general sense of well being which aids in conception.
The endocrine system is very delicate and affected by many things that can
throw it off, primarily stress. Acupuncture can aid in relaxation, which
creates an environment where conception occurs more readily. Research has
shown that acupuncture directly affects hormone balance and uterine blood
flow, enhancing fertility and improving the chances for conception.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can treat the following conditions:
Advanced Maternal Age
High FSH Levels
Luteal Phase Defect
Male Factor Infertility (except sterility)
If assisted reproductive therapies such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or
Intra Uterine Injections (IUI) are needed which are the common assisted
therapies many women are trying, acupuncture and herbal medicine can help
prepare the body to function optimally so that the best possible outcome is
achieved. It does this by assisting the ovaries in producing more follicles
and eggs raising the chances of conception, and preparing the uterus and
body for pregnancy.
Acupuncture performed before and after an IVF transfer increases the chances
of pregnancy by about 50%. In addition, acupuncture can greatly reduce the
possible toxic side effects of fertility drugs, making them safer while
With all the stress and anxiety that may accompany trying to get pregnant,
acupuncture can relax and balance your body's natural state of well-being.
Weekly treatments are recommended for several months
prior and during trying to conceive. This allows the
body to have enough time to "adjust" and "hold" that natural state of
There are many articles and recently published research about acupuncture,
fertility and IVF.
Below are some relevant articles.
Influence of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients
who undergo assisted reproduction therapy: Paulus, et.al. Fertility and
Sterility Vol: 77, No. 4, APRIL 2002
In this study acupuncture was only given just
before and after embryo transfer. The group that got the acupuncture
achieved 60 % more pregnancies than did the control group that did not get
Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering
from sub fertility related to low sperm quality: Siterman et.al. Arch
Androl, 39(2):155-61 1997 Sep-Oct
In this study both sperm quality and quantity were
increased by acupuncture.
Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with
semen abnormalities. Gurfinkel et.al. Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8
In this study men receiving acupuncture had significant
increases in the percentage of normal-form sperm compared to the control
group that did not receive acupuncture.
Acupuncture & IVF Poor Responders: A Cure? P.C.
Magarelli, D.K. Cridennda. Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Center,
Colorado Springs, CO
Conclusions: Significant increases in pregnancy outcomes
were con- firmed by this study and the data
uniquely supported the advantage of acupuncture in patients with
normal PI. Finally, this study is the first
to demonstrate that the use of acupuncture in patients with poor prognoses
(elevated Peak FSH, longer history of infertility, poor sperm morphology)
can achieve similar pregnancy rates to normal prognosis patient.
A Randomized Study Evaluating Acupuncture as an Adjunct to
Rodolfo Quintero, M.D., Wendy Yu, L.Ac., Brandon Horn,
L.Ac., J.D., Daoshing Ni, D.O.M., Barry Schifrin, MD., Brian Acacio, M.D.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Glendale
Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) and the Eastern Center for Complementary
Medicine, Glendale, CA
Conclusions: Our study shows a significantly lower amount of gonadotropins
used when IVF is combined with standard acupuncture. A 70% pregnancy rate
was also achieved with standard acupuncture and IVF, compared to 25%. Larger
prospective trials are necessary.
Worrying Doesn’t Help Matters: Women Who Are Very
Concerned About Medical Or Professional Implications Of Their IVF Cases Are
Less Likely To Get Pregnant
(Klonoff-Cohen and Natarajan, The Concerns During
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (CART) scale and pregnancy outcomes,
Fertility and Sterility, Vol.81, No.4, April 2004.)