Our acupuncture clinic treats fertility issues in both men and women.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a long history of benefiting fertility in many ways.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be used alone or in conjunction with Western medicine. A 2002 German study found significantly higher conception rates (42.5% vs. 26.3%) when acupuncture was used with IVF. More recently, two studies published in May 2006, showed that acupuncture can improve IVF success rates. First, in Germany, 225 women undergoing in vitro fertilization participated in a study. Of these, 116 patients received luteal phase (the phase after ovulation) acupuncture according to the principles of TCM and 109 people received a standard protocol of acupuncture. The treatment group using TCM principles had a significantly higher clinical pregnancy rate than the placebo group (33.6% vs. 15.6% respectively). Second, a Denmark study published at the same time examined the effect of acupuncture received on the day of embryo transfer vs. no acupuncture, and they also found a significant increase in pregnancy rates (39% vs. 26%). The researchers concluded that acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer improved the outcome of IVF. A third study published at the same time found the results too small to be considered clinically significant but these researchers also concluded that acupuncture was safe for women undergoing IVF.
Studies have found that regular treatments significantly improve sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim). In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, researchers analyzed sperm samples from men with infertility of unknown cause before and after acupuncture treatments. They found that acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm.
The best time to begin preparing your body for a baby is at least three months prior to conception or an IVF cycle. While that is the time to begin acupuncture treatments, we understand that most couples wait until they are actively trying to conceive. It is recommended to received at least twice weekly treatments until a positive pregnancy test is obtained, and once a week for the first trimester to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Studies with the greatest success rates included a minimum of 9 treatments. We suggest a minimum of 12 treatments (possibly more if patient was on birth-control prior) .
Benefits for women: