Using Acupuncture for Infertility
Acupuncture has gained in popularity as an alternative method used to treat infertility. In spite of this, many of us still have no clue as to what acupuncture is and how it can possibly help you get pregnant.
In a nutshell, acupuncture involves the placing of thin needles into certain spots in the body. The ancient Chinese believe that keeping a balance in the flow of energy is a must for good health. When the flow through one of the many “energy lines” or “meridians” is blocked it can cause specific conditions depending on the location. When these spots are needled, the body’s hormones and organs can be regulated. Over 2000 such spots are found all over the body and some are related to fertility.
Does It Really Work?
The jury is still out on whether acupuncture is able to increase the chances of pregnancy. A number of research studies have yielded very positive results and some have found no connection between increased chances of pregnancy and acupuncture treatment. What researchers will have agreement on is that acupuncture promotes increased relaxation, pain relief, and reduced stress. Since stress is directly associated with infertility, acupuncture may be a good option.
How Safe Is It?
Acupuncture is safe if it’s done by someone who has the necessary training. During pregnancy acupuncture is not recommended as it may cause a miscarriage if certain spots are stimulated. This also goes for the period after the embryo transfer. Overstimulation at any point on the body can result in negative effects so it’s advised that you see an acupuncturist who has some experience specifically assisting patients with infertility problems. However, if done right, acupuncture can help you throughout your entire pregnancy and even prepare your body for the labor ahead.
Some women who opt for this treatment for their infertility do it along with Assisted Reproductive technology (ART). The results of this approach have been shown to be very positive with over 50% of women in one study becoming pregnant. For men with fertility problems acupuncture was shown in one study to increase the sperm count in their semen. The same study also found that the structure of the sperm and its form was healthier when compared to the sperm of someone who did not undergo the procedure.
Things To Consider
Acupuncture treatment for both men and women with fertility problems is relatively reasonable in terms of cost when compared to other forms of fertility treatment. There are also a number of insurance plans that will pay for the treatment up to a certain amount of visits.