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You are here: Home > Fertility & Trying to Conceive > Fertility Concerns

Trying to Conceive With Acupuncture

by Katlyn Joy | December 16, 2013 3:23 PM
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Acupuncture has been around for about 3,000 years and today more couples are trying it to boost their chances at conceiving a baby.

This traditional Chinese medicine involves inserting very thin needles into the skin at specific points in the body, to balance the life energy or chi that is believed by some to run in pathways in the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is supposed to help by stimulating muscles and nerves, increasing blood flow, and relieving pain.

There are specific points in the body associated with fertility in women, such as the liver, kidney and heart. Some medical practitioners believe that acupuncture may help infertile women by allowing more blood to flow to the uterus and also by helping to ease stress.

Does Acupuncture To Treat Infertility Work?

Yes. And no. It depends on who and when you ask. For instance, the medical journal Fertility and Sterility published a series of studies in 2006 and found some supported the idea of acupuncture as a treatment with positive results, while others found the opposite to be true. A German study published in 2002 found that women who used acupuncture along with their IVF treatments got pregnant twice as often. But not so fast; a year later researchers revealed that as many got pregnant with fake acupuncture as with real acupuncture, possibly illustrating the power of the placebo effect.

However, it is minimally invasive and relatively inexpensive compared to many other fertility treatments. There are no real downsides or risks posed by acupuncture so it may be worth the time and trouble for couples who have limited resources or choices left in their quest to become parents. It won't hurt so why not give it a shot? Also, some insurance companies may even help pay for the treatments.

How is Acupuncture Performed?

Once you've conferred with your acupuncturist, you will lie down on a padded table and wear a gown, towel or other cloth to cover any exposed areas.

Between 5 and 20 needles will be inserted into various locations on your skin. While it will not be painful, some say it can sting a bit a first until you become accustomed to it.

The needles may be moved slightly, turned, be heated or have electrical pulses go through them, depending on your particular acupuncturist's methods.

The needles typically remain in place for up to 20 minutes, then are removed and discarded as reused needles can spread infections and disease.

Choosing an Acupuncturist

When choosing your Acupuncturist, you do not want to flip through random ads and take your chances. Many fertility doctors will be able to refer to a reputable fertility acupuncturist. Speak to your about receiving a referrals. Some acupuncturists are affiliated with large medical centers, You will want to find someone who is adequately trained and licensed as well as knowledgeable about acupuncture methods for improving fertility.

Meet with the acupuncturist to get a feel for how this person works and how comfortable you will feel. A big bonus of acupuncture is that many patients feel stress relief from the practice so feeling comfortable with the person performing it is critical for its success.


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