Acupuncture is now one of the most commonly recognized and used alternative treatments for infertility. I learned about it at one of the world’s leading natural birthing centers, Bumi Sehat. Robin Lim, the director of Bumi Sehat has several practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine on her staff to administer acupuncture to both women who are trying to get pregnant as well as women who already are pregnant. According to her, it’s simply one of the most powerful fertility enhancing practices around.
As an alternative to expensive and not all that successful conventional fertility treatments like IVF and IUI, acupuncture is an excellent option. In this article I’ll reveal the facts about the treatment and give you some idea of how to proceed if you are trying to have a baby.
Acupuncture and Infertility – How Does It Work?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, surgically sterile needles into specific points on the body which according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, are located on certain energy points or channels of the body. When these points are stimulated by the needles, the body works to create balance and restore harmony. In terms of fertility, acupuncture helps by addressing physical problems such as an under-functioning (hypothyroidism) or over-functioning (hyperthyroidism) thyroid. It also supports relaxation and overall well being, both of which have a positive impact on your chances of having a baby.
Most specialists recommend a series of acupuncture treatments for treating infertility. Usually they are done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Acupuncture and Infertility – What is The Evidence?
Acupuncture in combination with certain herbal remedies has a very long history for treating infertility. It stretches back thousands of years in China and has over 100 years of use in the Western world. It hasn’t been until recently that acupuncture has gained popularity in the west. Even so there are a number of studies published each year on the topic.
One of the most recent studies conducted by several researches has concluded that: “Acupuncture seems to have beneficial effects on live birth rate when performed on the day of ET, and to be useful also in PCOS as well as in male idiopathic infertility, with very low incidence of side effects. However, further studies are necessary to confirm the clinical results and to expand our knowledge of the mechanisms involved.” (PMID: 21297382 – PubMed )
Another Doctor, Raymond Chang, director of New York’s Meridian Medical Group, who has been incorporating acupuncture into fertility treatments for the past decade says: “Acupuncture provides better circulation and better blood flow to the womb. It will give a better chance for the eggs to be nourished and therefore carried.”
Acupuncture and Infertility – One Happy Mom’s Story
Even mainstream media has reported the benefits of acupuncture for overcoming infertility. In 2005 Fox News reported on the story of Lucy Appert, who at 36 and after several miscarriages, was finally able to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby. Appert credits the success of her pregnancy to an ancient Chinese secret.
“I recommend acupuncture to everyone,” Appert said. “It does work. I did everything possible for years to have a baby. I almost lost hope,” she says. Full story..
Tips For Using Acupuncture for Infertility Treatment
Of course, before you even consider acupuncture to treat infertility you need to do some research to find a qualified practitioner in your area. In most countries acupuncture is a certified profession and your practitioner should absolutely have a license.
There are minimal risks in using acupuncture to treat infertility. Even so, your acupuncturist should be aware that that there are 6 contraindicated acupuncture points which should be avoided when the patient is pregnant or pregnancy is suspected. These include Gallbladder 21, Stomach 12, Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6, Bladder 60, Bladder 67 and any points on the lower abdomen.
Acupuncture is just one of many natural approaches to boost your chances of getting pregnant. It is an important one, but not the only one. Most women I know who have overcome infertility naturally have used a combination of approaches including acupuncture. Many of them have used a guide that is considered widely to be the best natural pregnancy resource ever written. It’s called “Pregnancy Miracle” and has helped 1000s of couples finally realize their dreams of having children.