What Are the Different Types of Alternative Medicine for Infertility?

Meshell Powell

Alternative medicine for infertility is often considered by couples who have not had success with traditional treatment methods. Acupuncture, meditation, and yoga are commonly used tools when attempting to conceive. Nutritional therapy, vitamin supplementation, and lifestyle modification may also be used as forms of alternative medicine for infertility. In order to ensure optimal results, these treatment options are generally used in conjunction with more traditional types of infertility treatments. Any specific questions or concerns about the most appropriate types of alternative medicine for infertility in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Yoga helps reduce stress and improve health, which may also improve infertility.
Yoga helps reduce stress and improve health, which may also improve infertility.

Acupuncture is a popular tool when considering alternative medicine for infertility. Small needles are gently inserted into specific areas of the skin in an effort to balance the energies of the body. This is believed to help promote fertility in those who have not been able to conceive or maintain a pregnancy. Possible side effects include infection and tissue or organ damage, although these risks are greatly minimized if the acupuncturist is properly credentialed and experienced.

A diagram of a healthy ovary and one with cysts, which can contribute to infertility.
A diagram of a healthy ovary and one with cysts, which can contribute to infertility.

Meditation involves deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques and may help to reduce stress. Many health care practitioners believe that chronic stress can have negative impacts on fertility. For this reason, stress-relieving tools are thought to improve the chances of conceiving for both men and women. Yoga incorporates gentle exercise with deep breathing and relaxation, further focusing on this mind-body connection.

Nutritional therapy and vitamin supplementation are frequently used in alternative medicine for infertility. Men and women are often encouraged to increase water intake and eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Both genders may also be encouraged to take a high-quality multivitamin. Females may benefit from additional supplementation with vitamin A, zinc, and vitamin E. Males may be encouraged to take lycopene, selenium, and vitamin C. Some vitamin supplements may interact negatively with certain medications, so a doctor should be consulted before beginning a new nutritional program.

Lifestyle modification is thought to be among the most important tools in alternative medicine for infertility. Patients of both genders are generally asked to stop smoking and consuming alcohol. Caffeine intake may need to be limited or avoided completely. Men may benefit from eliminating soy from the diet, and some women may need to eliminate gluten. A moderate exercise program may also be helpful for those trying to conceive, and the infertility patient should strive to reach and maintain a healthy weight before attempting to conceive.

Yoga is one alternative treatment that can be used for infertility.
Yoga is one alternative treatment that can be used for infertility.

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