Today, as more and more women enter the workforce, many are delaying childbirth into their late 30s and early 40s. And because a woman’s fertility declines as she ages, more women are having trouble getting pregnant than ever before. It’s estimated that after a year of trying to conceive, 10 percent of couples are unable to get pregnant on their own.
While many couples turn to fertility treatments for help, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), a growing number are also trying alternative therapies, including acupuncture.
Today, many doctors recommend acupuncture for their patients who are having trouble conceiving, whether it is in combination with IVF, or by itself.
What Acupuncture Can Do
Acupuncture can be used to:
- Improve egg quality
- Regulate the menstrual cycle
- Treat endometriosis and fibroids
- Increase circulation to the ovaries and uterus
- Regulate the hypothalmic-pituitary-ovarian axis
- Improve sperm count and motility
- Dramatically improve success rates for IVF patients
The Studies Prove It Works
Treating infertility issues with acupuncture is widely accepted today as an additional option for couples who are trying to conceive.
Results have shown that acupuncture may adjust endocrine function of the generative and physiologic axis of women, thus stimulating ovulation.
A CBS News report said acupuncture was found to increase the production of endorphins, or brain chemicals that make you feel good and help reduce stress. It may also improve blood supply to the ovaries, which improves their function, and the uterus, which can make it easier to nourish a fetus and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
In addition, studies indicate that doing acupuncture about 30 minutes before and after in vitro fertilization can increase the chance that the embryo will be implanted successfully and reduce the chance of miscarriage.
The German Study
Numerous fertility specialists cite a German study published in 2002 in the journal Fertility and Sterility in regard to the increasing popularity of acupuncture treatment for infertility. The study, led by Dr. Wolfgang Paulus at the University of Ulm, found that 42% of women receiving acupuncture just before and after an assisted-reproductive therapy, such as IVF, became pregnant; compared with 26% of patients who got pregnant with assisted-reproductive treatments but who received no acupuncture therapy.
Later that same year, according to a report published in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Raymond Chang and colleagues at Cornell University’s medical school in New York published a paper in the same journal, describing several ways acupuncture might actually improve a woman’s chances of conceiving: relaxation, regulating reproductive hormones and improving the lining of the uterus, where the embryo needs to be implanted before it can develop.
Fresh Data Further Supports Success
A report published in May 2012 demonstrates higher ovulation and pregnancy rates for women receiving acupuncture combined with the fertility drug clomiphene (clomifert, clomid) compared with women receiving clomiphene only.
In a study of 5,807 women, it was demonstrated that acupuncture improves clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates for women receiving IVF.
Furthermore, another study published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology shows that the application of acupuncture was shown to prevent egg implantation failure.
In yet another study, which used 309 women, it was found that electroacupuncture “significantly improved the clinical outcome of ET (embryo transfer).”
Make An Appointment Today
If you are experiencing infertility, call 505-243-3042 to make an appointment today. While most insurance plans do not cover fertility treatments, acupuncture is an extremely cost effective alternative to IVF and other traditional fertility treatments. Longevity Acupuncture also accepts most major credit cards.