Fertility Enhancement with Acupuncture
Published in Family Building Magazine (a RESOLVE publication) (Fall 2006 issue)
Acupuncture is both a science and an art. It is rooted in more than 3000 years of clinical history. Today, acupuncture is recognized as a beneficial tool to enhance fertility in both men and women.
Acupuncture is based on an energetic model of the body rather than the biochemical model of western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized the vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. This energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”), circulates throughout the body along well-defined pathways. If this energy flow is disrupted, normal physiological function is affected resulting in pain or illness. Acupuncture points are therefore stimulated, with fine sterile metal needles, to balance the circulation of qi and improve the health of one’s entire being. Via this process, acupuncture is able to increase the success rates of women trying to conceive through natural methods and artificial reproductive technologies (ART). A course of treatment, ideally, involves 3-6 months of acupuncture, although treatments can be started at anytime during an IUI or IVF cycle.
There are several benefits which acupuncture can provide to couples trying to conceive naturally, the two most common being: regulating and balancing the endocrine system and working to help reduce stress and calm emotions.
This ancient technique also works well in combination with ART. Whether on the birth control pill, down-regulating medications, or stimulation medications, acupuncture works to enhance the outcome of each phase not by promoting the action of the medication itself, but instead by balancing an individual’s overall health. By doing so a more fertile physical and energetic environment is created within the body and many of the negative side effects of western ART medications are decreased.
There are many studies, articles, and abstracts published by the medical community that provide supporting evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture when treating infertility. The Paulus study, done in 2002, shows an increase in the success rates of IVF when done with acupuncture.
- “The Infertility Cure” by Randine Lewis: