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Acupuncture Fertility-Infertility Treatment

The American Fertility Society defines infertility as the inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after one year of well-timed, contraceptive-free intercourse. Some of the many possible causes of infertility include: hormonal imbalances, ovulatory dysfunction, fallopian tube abnormalities, uterine irregularities, and cervical factors. About 15% of cases are referred to as unexplained infertility, as the cause is unknown or cannot be identified.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer an effective, time-tested approach to enhancing fertility and treating infertility. In fact, acupuncture has been used successfully for infertility treatment for thousands of years. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used in combination with conventional reproductive medical care or as a primary treatment approach. Acupuncture can be effective for women taking fertility drugs (such as Clomid/clomiphene or gonadotropic hormones) or undergoing Assisted Acupuncture Fertility-Infertility Treatment in BoiseReproductive Technology techniques (such as IVF or IUI). In addition, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can also be effective as a standalone approach to treat infertility for those not undergoing conventional medical treatment.

Acupuncture has been shown in many clinical research studies to be effective in enhancing fertility and treating infertility and in 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed acupuncture for reproductive problems.

How Does Acupuncture Enhance Fertility and Treat Infertility?
  • Acupuncture stimulates and influences hormonal activity, thus regulating menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy. Acupuncture triggers the release of prostaglandins into the bloodstream, which in turn lead to the production of a substance that transmits messages to the hypothalamus.
  • A 1996 Swedish study reported that acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Decreased blood flow through the uterine artery correlates to lower pregnancy rates and acupuncture’s ability to increase pelvic blood supply dramatically improves the outcome of ART techniques.
  • Acupuncture helps to reduce stress and decrease the hypersympathetic nervous system response, relaxing the neuroendocrine system and regulating hormones. Studies have shown that high stress levels decrease the likelihood of conceiving.
  • Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate chemical changes within the uterine lining, thickening the endometrium and preparing the uterus for implantation.
  • Research shows that acupuncture normalizes dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis.
  • Acupuncture helps to decrease uterine contractions and improve implantation outcome. Increased uterine contractions at the time of embryo transfer of an IVF procedure negatively affect implantation outcome.
  • In men, acupuncture can improve the concentration, volume, and motility of sperm.
Boise Fertility-Infertility Treatment with AcupunctureFor all of these reasons, acupuncture in recent years has become widely accepted as an important component of fertility enhancement and infertility treatment. In addition to acupuncture treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, lifestyle choices play an important role in restoring balance and improving the likelihood of conceiving and carrying to term a healthy child. Important lifestyle factors that are typically discussed during acupuncture treatment include: diet, stress reduction, exercise, sleep, and emotions.

Clinical Research Data