Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Acupuncture and Infertility

On the message boards I have been hearing a lot about acupuncture helping women become pregnant when used in conjunction with IVF treatments.

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating fine filiform needles into specific points on the body with the aim of relieving pain and for therapeutic purposes. According to traditional Chinese acupuncture theory, these acupuncture points lie along maridians which energy flows.
Modern science has never been able to explain how acupuncture works.

“However, the National Institutes of Health in the United States have noted that many researchers are investigating the issue. Some possible theories as to just why acupuncture works include:

Changes to the central nervous system during acupuncture sessions alter the regulation of blood pressure and flow as well as body temperature.

Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system causing neurotransmitters and neurohormones to be released, thereby boosting your body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Acupuncture reduces pain by releasing the endorphins, which naturally occur in the body’s pain control system, into the central nervous system.”

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat some causes of infertility. Acupuncture is not a cure for infertility. In some cases like blocked tubes or endometriosis, acupuncture can still improve the chances of fertility treatments bringing you a BFP. Acupuncture can help with elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia, polycycstic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factor including men affected with sperm DNA fragmentation.

Treatment should start three to four months before in vitro fertilization or donor-egg transfer. This period seems to have the best results.

Sources:
http://www.pregnancy-info.net/infertility_acupuncture.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/acupuncture.htm

1 comment:

The Fertility Acupuncturist said...

I agree that proactive preparation with a holistic TCM program is the key to success with IVF. I generally recommend 3-6 months of preparation for both partners.