What is Infertility Acupuncture?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Infertility acupuncture is acupuncture which is designed to address fertility issues in men and women. Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility in China for centuries. Western physicians have begun to incorporate more alternative medical modalities into their practices in recognition of increased interest, making infertility acupuncture available to people pursuing traditional Western medical treatment in addition to people who are interested in alternative health care options.

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.

Practitioners of alternative medicine may recommend infertility acupuncture as a standalone or adjunct treatment. In both cases, the goal of the acupuncture is to bring the body's energy and life force into balance to help the patient conceive or generate viable sperm. When integrated into conventional medical treatment, infertility acupuncture is used to help reduce stress, stimulate hormones which will be beneficial to fertility, and to increase the blood flow to the uterus to promote fertility and the viability of a pregnancy.

Infertility acupuncture is an alternative health care option that is increasing in popularity among Western physicians.
Infertility acupuncture is an alternative health care option that is increasing in popularity among Western physicians.

Infertility acupuncture can be practiced by people who are trying to conceive naturally, or it can be used as an adjunct to more aggressive fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization. The acupuncture treatments can begin weeks or months in advance of the planned pregnancy, and they may continue through the first trimester to reduce the risk of a miscarriage. Infertility acupuncture may be combined with herbal medicine, massage, nutritional support, and other forms of alternative medicine along with conventional measures like supplementary hormones.

It is important to receive infertility acupuncture from a trained practitioner, especially when it is being used during a pregnancy to support the pregnancy. Certain acupuncture points are contraindicated for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant, and inexperienced practitioners can undermine fertility or increase the risk of a miscarriage. Patients can opt to see a trained acupuncturist or a medical acupuncturist who has a medical degree and has received specialized acupuncture training. In both cases, membership in a professional organization or professional certification are signs that a practitioner will provide the best care.

Studies conducted on people who have received infertility acupuncture seem to suggest that acupuncture can be beneficial, whether one believes that it restores the body's balance of energy, or stimulates the body into producing hormones which will support a pregnancy. While this treatment is not a magic bullet to cure or resolve infertility issues, it can be beneficial, and people who are struggling with infertility may want to ask their doctors if acupuncture would be a good option to discuss.

Acupuncture may benefit women who are trying to conceive naturally, as well as those who are using other fertility treatments.
Acupuncture may benefit women who are trying to conceive naturally, as well as those who are using other fertility treatments.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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