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Acupuncture for Infertility treatment

Acupuncture is such a popular treatment for infertility, some IVF clinics have acupuncturists working in their clinics, or they’re keen to refer you to a local trusted practitioner. As the research swings both ways, and the treatment itself is harmless, it’s generally accepted that acupuncture for fertility could be worth trying if you’re looking to increase your chances of success.

Acupuncture for Male side
The British Acupuncture Council claims there’s evidence to show acupuncture increases sperm motility (how fast the sperm swim), as well as increasing levels of the male sex hormone testosterone and lowering the temperature of the scrotum (where sperm are stored), creating a better environment for keeping them healthy.

 

Acupuncture is aiming to rebalance your energy flow and prime your body for fertility. The British Acupuncture Council believes acupuncture may boost female fertility by doing three key things:
Regulating hormone function, increasing blood flow to the ovaries and uterus and helping to relax your muscles which can improve the chance of an embryo implanting.


Tackling the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common cause of infertility
Generally helping to relieve stress and make you feel more relaxed

Many doctors are sceptical about acupuncture, saying there’s little scientific evidence it can help with infertility. But others believe it can help by stimulating nerve and muscle tissue, and by helping you relax and de-stress – which is key to boosting fertility.


There’s also evidence to suggest that conception rates improved during IVF when acupuncture was performed, but this was only true when the acupuncture was performed the same day the embryos were being implanted in the uterus.

Acupuncturists usually take a full medical history, including details of your menstrual cycle and the results of fertility tests you’ve had. As well as the needle treatment, appointments usually include advice on diet and lifestyle changes that can boost fertility.

Herbal Medicine for Infertility

The effects of herbal medicines are generally cumulative, and the clinical effects of treating the infertile couple are usually seen after 60-120 days.  Herbs are also cycle-dependent.

They require the entire menstrual cycle to be effective, and work best with multiple cycles. This means that if, for instance, a woman decides to have an in vitro Fertilization: IVF transfer within a week, she should avoid herbal treatment.

In general, it is appropriate to treat any type of infertility condition with herbal medicines. This includes advanced maternal age, luteal-phase-defect, premature ovarian failure, male factor, or unexplained symptoms.

Clinical observers have reported impressive results when mixing herbs with gonadotropins during intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. The herbs seem to enhance the effects of the gonadotropins, and they do not pose the risk of OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome).

Herbs are generally safe to use. However, because some herbs should not be taken during pregnancy, it is always important to ask your healthcare provider which herbs are safe to take. For those choosing to use herbs to enhance fertility, it is preferable to consult a healthcare provider who is familiar with herbs and how they affect different aspects of your fertility.

One of the purposes of prescribing herbal medicines is to increase ovarian function. Therefore, individuals who are taking birth control pills, Antigon/Cetrotide or Lupron should not take herbs. Because these medications are used to impede or lessen ovarian function they have the opposite desired effect of herbs.

Ms. Ting Wang

  • Member of British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)
  • Clinician in Neurology department, Heilongjiang University of TCM Hospital
  • MSc. in Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture), London South Bank University
  • BSc. in Clinical Discipline of Chinese and Western Integrative, Heilongjiang University of TCM

                           

What you should know?

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