Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat various women’s health issues and improve fertility. Acupuncture became more widely used in infertility after a study found that women who received acupuncture before and after an in vitro fertilization embryo transfer had higher pregnancy rates than the control group. Due to the results of this study, many physicians who treat fertility have come to embrace acupuncture for their patients and have seen their patients’ mood, stress levels, and overall health dramatically improve.
Some ways acupuncture may benefit fertility treatment:
Stress reduction: Fertility treatment can be stressful, and while stress does not cause infertility, when it’s not managed it can cause other health challenges including poor sleep, sluggish or overactive digestion, emotional distress, and relationship challenges.
Increased blood flow: Studies have shown that acupuncture can impact local blood flow. In the case of infertility, increased blood flow is beneficial.
Ease mood and menstrual symptoms: Cramps, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle—loosely grouped under the term dysmenorrhea—are an area where acupuncture has been shown to have a beneficial effect.
Improved sense of control: Fertility treatment can be overwhelming. Used in conjunction with medical fertility treatment, this increased sense of control and improved overall health may have positive benefits on treatment outcomes. Since medical fertility treatments may take more than one cycle to achieve success, acupuncture can help patients stay in treatment and help alleviate the emotional and physical toll.
Regulation of Hormones Important for Fertility: Acupuncture has a regulatory effect on the hormones directly responsible for egg production. Acupuncture is able to regulate hormones such as Estrogen, Luteinizing hormone (LH) and GnRH through the HPOA.
Acupuncture Also Helps Male Fertility: Acupuncture is more thought of for female fertility but it's also extremely effective helping men reach their fertility potential. The three most commonly tested areas during a semen analysis will be Count (how many sperm), Motility (how well they are swimming) and Morphology (do they look normal). Acupuncture can help improve all three aspects.