What is a proven infertility tool many people overlook? The answer is simple – Acupuncture.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child despite trying for one year. It affects about 5.3 million Americans, or 9% of the reproductive age population, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. If you have been having roadblocks to starting your family or expanding your family, now more than ever, there is a multitude of modalities that can assist you in your reproductive goals. An integrative approach to address this condition can prove to be effective and transform your health along the way. At Arizona Natural Medicine, L.L.C., we offer an integrative model, utilizing Western medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture to create harmony and reproductive health and increase your ability to conceive. This can be done without traditional infertility treatments or can be a transformative complement to traditional infertility treatments, such as IUI and IVF.
Although acupuncture is thought to be an ancient Chinese therapeutic art, this 6,000 year old form of medicine is gaining scientific credibility due to current research. Studies have sited that the mechanism through which acupuncture influences female fertility involve several physiological actions. Acupuncture is believed to involve the central stimulation of endorphin secretion which in turn impact the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH acts on the pituitary gland via the brain to produces follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which in turn stimulates follicle growth and induces ovulation. Acupuncture also increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Many traditional fertility medications stimulate follicle development and ovulation. The result of this physiological chain of action through acupuncture is a positive effect on the uterus that favors implantation.
Acupuncture can be used alone to enhance fertility or used with other Western traditional fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), or intra-uterine implantation (IUI).
A German study done in 2002 showed that of the 80 women who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 women got pregnant, a success rate of 42.5%. Of the 80 women involved in the study who received IVF without any acupuncture treatments, only 21 women (26.3%) became pregnant.
More recently, an American study involving 114 women showed that 51% of the women who had acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant versus only 36% of the women who had IVF alone. Deeper analysis of this study revealed that, while 8% of the women in the acupuncture group miscarried, the rate of miscarriage in the IVF-only group was 20%. Furthermore, women who received acupuncture also had lower rates of ectopic pregnancies.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a low-cost, non-invasive option to enhance fertility with or without traditional Western medicine treatments of infertility. Acupuncture can improve blood flow to the uterus, improve thickness of the endometrial lining, decrease physical response to stress, balance hormones, and stimulate follicle development and ovulation.
Think Acupuncture when you think fertility success!