The treatment of fertility with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back 2,000 years.
These ancient, time-tested techniques improve fertility rates and support a woman’s whole body, unlocking unlimited potential for health, healing and childbearing.
Studies reported by The American Pregnancy Association suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur without traditional medical interventions when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used alone.1
Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York reviewed recent studies and concluded that acupuncture helps to:
- Increase blood flow to the uterus, which improves the chances of an ovum implanting on the uterine wall.
- Reduce anxiety and stress. The hormones that are secreted during stressful situations can significantly decrease fertility.
- Normalize hormone and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation, especially in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which plays a key role in fertility.
- Regulate menstrual cycle.2
In a 2007 study, researchers found that acupuncture may improve the quality of life in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). It was also found that women receiving acupuncture reported significantly less abdominal pain, other pain, nausea, and stress two hours after oocyte aspiration (egg collection) compared to women receiving conventional analgesia.3
In 2008, the British Medical Journal published research which concluded that acupuncture can be offered as a significant, clinically relevant adjunct to IVF, relaxing the uterus and increasing blood flow for the successful implantation of an embryo within the uterine lining.4
An acupuncturist’s approach to fertility.
According to the theories of acupuncture and TCM, infertility is caused by an imbalance of Qi and blood affecting the healthy functioning of one or more of the organ systems. When Qi, also known as our vital energy, and blood are circulating freely throughout the body, every cell, tissue and organ is properly nourished and can function well. Acupuncture and TCM can raise the fertility potential of women by effecting the quality, quantity, balance and flow of Qi and blood.
Kidney Organ System. The release of an ovum is controlled by the kidneys. The kidneys also create a substance called Jing Qi, which is required in order to have a healthy body, mind, and pregnancy. If an imbalance exists within the kidneys, Jing Qi may be inadequate in supply and may be a cause for infertility. Chinese herbal medicine, along with acupuncture, can nourish and support Jing Qi and overall kidney health.
Spleen Organ System. An adequate supply of blood is required by a woman’s body to sustain a normal menstrual cycle, a growing fetus, and a healthy pregnancy. Disharmony within the spleen can result in an inadequate supply and imbalance of blood. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can build and nourish blood in order to promote a healthy flow of blood to the uterus.
Liver Organ System. In order to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy, it is important to have a free flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. The liver is in charge of facilitating this function. When it is out of balance, areas of the body will not receive the required supply of Qi and blood. This imbalance can lead to depression, anxiety, stress and increased possibility of infertility.
Acupuncture and TCM provide a safe, effective, drug-free, and natural approach to treating infertility and enjoying a healthy pregnancy.
Here are a few reasons to try acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine:
- An acupuncturist does not treat just symptoms and signs, but instead activates the body’s natural healing potential by treating the root causes that have lead to the problem or disease.
- Acupuncture and TCM are completely natural. No drugs are ever used. Invasive procedures and drug therapies that are used in the Western treatment of infertility can cause undesirable side effects and accumulated toxicity in the body.
- Acupuncture and TCM can be used to strengthen, support, and balance overall health and well-being, therefore can increase the effectiveness of other procedures.
Also consider acupuncture during your pregnancy and birth. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture has been found useful for relieving labor pain, nausea, vomiting, and significantly reducing the duration of labor. There is also strong evidence that acupuncture can help with a breech birth.5,6
Acupuncture Supports Couples Facing Infertility
When you consider all the changes in our agricultural practices, the increased number of medications we take, as well as our dependence on plastic and technology that is constantly emitting low-grade radiation, it’s no surprise more couples are having trouble conceiving.
Current statistics show one in six couples who are trying to conceive are facing fertility issues. And while many times infertility is thought of as a female issue, it is really a factor for both the man and woman and should therefore be addressed as such.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we talk about qi a lot, the energy or life force in everyone. Qi regulates the mental and physical body. When qi is disrupted or blocked due to poor health or other circumstances, then disease may occur. Regular acupuncture treatments help to keep the normal flow of qi moving and unblocked. A healthy flow of qi increases a couple’s chances of conceiving.
One of the most important ways acupuncture treatments can support a couple facing fertility issues is through reducing stress.
Stress is frequently a key component that contributes to infertility in both men and women. When people are stressed, the brain releases a hormone known as cortisol. Too much cortisol alters the brain and changes the hormone levels which are key to the reproductive cycle. Due to the delicate balance between the brain, pituitary gland and the reproductive glands, excess stress is capable of preventing ovulation completely. Stress can also cause spasms in the uterus and fallopian tubes, which may interfere with implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can alter sperm count, sperm motility and cause impotence. Acupuncture has the ability to counter the effects of stress.
Regular acupuncture treatments are also very effective at decreasing and removing excess phlegm in the lower body. This buildup of excess phlegm can be caused by numerous factors. In the United States, there are two causes that are most common.
The first is the standard American diet that is saturated with fast, greasy, sugary and fried foods and lacking in fresh, whole plant-based foods. The second cause is the sedentary lifestyle that many people now live. Studies confirm that these two situations lead to increased infertility issues. But specific acupoints, herbs and exercise can all be beneficial in creating a healthy environment for a baby to be conceived.
Acupuncture can also be a great option for those facing fertility issues, because it doesn’t cost nearly as much as other options. The average cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is $15,000 per session and the success rates are only about 33%. However, the use of TCM over a 6 month period can increase success rates by nearly 65% for a fraction of the cost of IVF. With acupuncture, people also get the added benefits of more restful sleep, less stress and anxiety, improved digestion and better health overall.
Studies show acupuncture can increase fertility and allow couples to conceive more frequently. If you are experiencing fertility problems, acupuncture may hold the answer. Ask me today if you would like more information.
L.Ac., LMT, Diplomate of Oriental Medicine
Contact Robert to schedule an appointment:
Texts welcome (727) 266-3000.
TCM practitioner for over 20 yrs:
- Licensed Acupuncturist
- Licensed Massage Therapist
- Diplomate of Oriental Medicine
- Reiki Master
- Ordained Interfaith Minister
- Optavia Coach
“I offer alternatives to harsh drugs & invasive procedures when practical & safe to do so. I believe in supporting the healing qualities & wisdom of your body. Clients receive quality care with uninterrupted attention for 60 minutes or longer per session.”
- American Pregnancy Association. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/acupuncture.htm.
- Five ways acupuncture can boost fertility. Prevention.com. 2002.
- Alternative Therapies, May/June 2007, Vol. 13 No.3.
- Manheimer, E., et. al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal. February 2008;336:545-549.
- World Health Organization. www.who.int/medicines.
- A Manual of Acupuncture. Deadman P. & Mazin Al-Khafaji. Eastland Press, 2007. Page 326.