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How does acupuncture work for Infertility?

The acupuncture infertility treatments promote the following physical changes:

  • Increases blood flow to the uterus
  • Promotes thickening of the uterine lining
  • Improves functioning of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
  • Lowers elevated FSH numbers
  • Stimulates hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
  • Relaxes the body and decreases stress levels
  • Decreases the possibility of miscarriage
  • Identifies potential disease that may affect fertility
  • Reduces side-effects from medications

When should acupuncture treatment begin?

Acupuncture is similar to physical therapy in that it is a process oriented method of medical intervention. It is better to do more than less. Patients are commonly treated for three to four months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. This period of treatment seems to have a therapeutic effect.

In a study by Stener-Victorin et al from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fertility Centre, Scandinavia and University of Gothenburg, women are encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre and post embryo transfer. Clinical observations from the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used without traditional medical interventions.

What types of fertility patients typically get acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. (Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture). Acupuncture is often combined with herbs to treat elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factor including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation


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