Acupuncture is among the fertility treatments sought by a growing number of women who are not able to get pregnant using more conventional methods.
The growth in popularity of acupuncture as a fertility treatment is often traced to a 2002 study reported in the German journal Fertility and Sterility. The study reported that 42% of women given acupuncture treatments right before or right after traditional reproductive therapy became pregnant while only 26% of women who did not receive acupuncture treatments found success from traditional medical treatment alone. It is believed that acupuncture and fertility are connected because of the ability of acupuncture to balance hormones and prepare the lining of the uterus for conception. It is also thought that acupuncture's ability to facilitate relaxation improves a woman's chances of conceiving.
Following the 2002 study, the interest in acupuncture and fertility began to rise significantly and even mainstream doctors began referring fertility patients to acupuncturists. While the subject remains controversial, the idea that acupuncture can increase fertility has not been refuted, and many women who have used it are convinced of the results. While some suggest that successful acupuncture treatments may be psychosomatic, others point to the whole-body approach that most acupuncturists take in treating any condition. By taking all aspects of health, including nutrition, stress, and overall energy into account, it is not hard to accept that acupuncture can help prepare a woman's body for conception and pregnancy.
How it works?
Acupuncture treatments involve the insertion of needles that are about the width of a hair into specific points throughout the body. The idea in Chinese medicine is to increase the flow of life force energy, know as chi, throughout the body. Practitioners believe that in cases where infertility is caused by a hormonal imbalance, restoring the flow of chi can correct the problem. Acupuncture is also thought to open blockages in the fallopian tubes, regulate menstrual cycles and reverse endometriosis. In addition to the direct effects that acupuncture is said to have on fertility, it is recommended in general for stress relief and to promote relaxation.
There is undoubtedly a great deal of stress associated with infertility, and reducing stress can in itself increase a woman's chances of conceiving. For women who do conceive while undergoing acupuncture, there is the added benefit of avoiding the high cost and increased frustration that can be associated with conventional infertility treatments like intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization and other therapies.
Recommendations for applied acupuncture for fertility usually involve weekly treatments with additional treatments the day before and two or three days after ovulation. In general, two to three months of treatment are recommended unless, of course, the woman becomes pregnant sooner.
What about side effects? Visit acupuncture and fertility to learn more about side effects of acupuncture for fertility.
About the Author:
Pat Welch is an editor at herbal-alternative-remedies.com For more information about fertility and acupuncture visit: acupuncture as a treatment for fertility. To read more about fertility visit: achieving fertility.