Acupuncture is a natural therapy that is used to improve well-being. Tiny, hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points along the energy pathways called meridians to prevent and treat a wide range of health problems. It is proven to be an effective, safe alternative and complementary to medication or even surgery for a variety of conditions and ailments.
How does acupuncture work for infertility patients?
Acupuncture has been reported to promote the circulation of blood in pelvic cavity and improve ovarian function. Acupuncture treatment may be beneficial in promoting follicle production, enhancing uterine blood flow and improving uterine lining thickness.
Acupuncture should not be considered a specific fertility treatment. Rather, acupuncture should be considered a modality to help promote and optimize overall health, thus leading to enhancement in fertility and help optimize the chance of carrying to term.
Because it is non-invasive, patients who are undergoing IVF,IUI or cycle monitoring can safely receive acupuncture.
How does acupuncture work with Western medicine, specifically fertility treatment?
In the area of female health and fertility, acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial for women with PCOS and anovulation, and it has been shown to increase uterine blood flow. Acupuncture has been shown to decrease the symptoms related to endometriosis and primary dysmenorrhea. There have been some recent studies suggesting that acupuncture may increase the pregnancy rate in women undergoing IVF. However, despite the growing number of studies, the scientific basis for this therapy is still in its infancy.
How often do fertility patients need to have acupuncture?
For fertility patients, it is recommended to have two treatments per week for the initial stage 9 one or two weeks, then once weekly sessions for the next several weeks. A “maintenance” stage can be incorporated every few weeks. More frequent treatments are recommended for IVF patients around egg retrieval and embryo transfer.