Acupuncture for Infertility
At Concord Center Acupuncture we offer a compassionate and holistic approach for enhancing fertility, whether you want to conceive naturally or combine the benefits of acupuncture with IVF, IUI or Clomid. Our practitioners are dedicated to combining the latest scientific understanding in fertility with Chinese Medicine’s time-tested holistic approach to fertility. Our goal is to look closely at the whole person, body and mind, then correct the underlying imbalances that are making it difficult for you to conceive. Our patients find that not only are they able to improve their fertility, but they are able to improve their overall health and feel better than they ever have before.
Ancient Wisdom, Modern Solutions
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to treat infertility for over 3,000 years. In the US and Europe, promising modern research results have fueled a surge of interest in the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to treat infertility. Many women are now looking for ways to naturally improve their fertility, prevent or treat premature ovarian failure and improve the success rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
A 2002 study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that acupuncture in conjunction with IVF almost doubled the success rates of IVF1 and several additional studies support these findings2, 3, 4. Modern research also suggests that acupuncture can:
- normalize hormone levels (including GnRH, FSH, LH, estrogen and progesterone) 5, 6, 7
- positively affect the Hypothalamus-Pitutiary-Ovarian (HPO) axis5, 6, 7
- reduce stress, anxiety and depression and the fertility inhibiting hormones that are produced as a result of stress7
- increase blood flow to uterus8
- increase blood flow to the ovaries9, 10
- regulate ovulation11
- improve sperm morphology12,13and count14
What to Expect
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are an investment in your health and the health of your future family. By following the custom treatment plans recommended by our practitioners, most can expect treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to improve their overall health and fertility by:
- regulating ovulation and menstrual cycles
- reducing or eliminating PMS and other menstrual related symptoms such as cramps, diarrhea, constipation and headaches
- improving sperm quality
- assisting and improving the goals of IVF (increasing the number of follicles, improving egg quality, reducing side-effects)
- increasing libido
- reducing stress
- preventing miscarriage
Acupuncture is usually recommended anywhere from one to three times a weeks together with a custom herbal prescription that is taken as a tea two times a day. By the request of most fertility doctors, herbal medicine is usually not administered once the IVF, IUI and Clomid hormones have been started. For IVF and IUI patients a transfer/injection protocol is also recommended where you receive acupuncture immediately before and after the embryo transfer or sperm injection.
Planning for Your Treatment
We cannot stress highly enough the importance of a preparatory treatment phase that begins before trying to conceive. The length of this preparation will greatly depend upon your Chinese Medical diagnosis, as well as the presence of any underlying disorders such as lack of periods, endometriosis and PCOS. For men, the length of the preparatory phase will vary greatly depending upon your practitioner’s diagnosis. Most women require a minimum of a three month preparatory course of treatment. This is because the biological systems of menstruation and fertility are hormonally intricate systems that take several menstrual cycles to bring back into balance naturally. We are accustomed to the rapid changes that pharmaceuticals can affect in our bodies. However the power of these substances comes with many potential and serious side-effects and most of the time are only masking symptoms rather than fixing the root of the problem. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine work naturally, albeit slowly, to treat the root of the health problem and bring our bodies back into balance. We understand that many men and women are racing against the clock in their efforts to conceive and we will work with you in determining the best treatment plan based on your age, goals and diagnosis. However their may be times when a preparatory treatment phase is absolutely necessary, so the sooner you can start acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, the better!
We recommend that the male partners of our female infertility patients are also on a regular treatment plan of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Even if tests for male factor infertility are within normal range, our practitioners have found that treating both partners produces the best results. In Chinese Medicine, there is much attention given to the health of both potential parents. It is believed that the state of health of each parent upon conception determines the constitution or pre-natal jing of the future child. Therefore it is important for both potential parents to be in the best possible health while trying to conceive.
At Concord Center Acupuncture, you can also expect to learn how to better care for yourself with customized nutrition, exercise and stress reduction plans that are discussed with you by your practitioner. We will help support you through this journey, both physically and mentally, whether you are trying to conceive naturally or with IVF, IUI or Clomid. We do not see you as a collection of hormones, sperm or follicles but as a whole person, and respectfully so. We take the time to get to know you and your goals so that we can help you start a family as well as educate and empower you to be as healthy as possible. We sincerely hope that your journey toward parenthood is a positive, healthy and transforming process!
To start improving your fertility with acupuncture you can Schedule online or call us at (978) 369-9400 to schedule your first appointment. If you are still not sure if acupuncture is right for you, call (978) 369-9400 to schedule a FREE 15 minute consult, with one of our acupuncturists.
- Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertility and Sterility; 2002:11(4): 721-724
- Dieterle S, Ying G, Hatzmann W, Neuer A. Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracyoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Fertility and Sterility; 2006:85:(5):1347-1351
- Pinborg A, Loft A, Andersen AN. Acupuncture with in vitro fertilisation. BMJ; 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):517-8
- Cheong YC, Hung Yu Ng E, Ledger WL. Acupuncture and assisted conception. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD006920
- Chang R, Chung PH, Rosenwaks Z. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Fertility and Sterility. 2002:78(6):1149-1153
- Chen BY. Acupuncture Normalizes Dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J. 1997:22:97-108
- Anderson BJ, Haimovici F, Ginsburg ES, Schust DJ, Wayne PM. In vitro fertilization and acupuncture: clinical efficacy and mechanistic basis. Alternative Therapies. 2007:13(3):38-48
- Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod. 1996;11(6):1314-719
- Stener-Victorin E, Kobayashi R, Kurosawa M. Ovarian blood flow responses to electro-acupuncture stimulation at different frequencies and intensities in anaesthetized rats. Auton Neurosci. 2003;108(1-2):50-6
- Stener-Victorin E, Fujisawa S, Kurosawa M. Ovarian blood flow responses to electroacupuncture stimulation depend on estrous cycle and on site and frequency of stimulation in anesthetized rats. J Appl Physiol. 2006;101(1):84-912005;118(1-2):79-87
- Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Tagnfors U, Lundeberg T, Lundstedt G, Janson PO. Effects of electro-acupuncture on anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000;79:180 –8
- Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U, Abt M, Piomboni P, Baccetti B, Sterzik K. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility. 2005; 84(1):141–7
- Gurfinkel e, Cedenho AP, Yamamura Y, Srougi M. Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec; 5: 345-348
- Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B. Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia. 2000 Jan; 32(1):31-9