With the mass of fertility treatments available to us today, it isn’t surprising that you may have overlooked acupuncture as an option once or twice as the media tends to cast a larger spotlight on more modern high tech medicine than it does on traditional kinds. But even with the wonders modern medicine carries with it, many couples still turn back to traditional forms, like acupuncture, for help.

There have been a number of studies that suggest that acupuncture could be helpful in numerous ways in relation to fertility, conception and pregnancy, although, as with most studies, there isn’t enough of it, or the right kind. Even with this, more and more often, reproductive medicine specialists are referring their patients to acupuncturists for help.

Implementing acupuncture in conjunction with more modern reproductive treatments tends to substantially increase pregnancy success. But this is not the only way it can work, it also works to stimulate the production of eggs in women that can’t or simply don’t wish to use fertility medications to get pregnant. The success rate of egg producing drugs is equal to that of acupuncture in those not undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) but because acupuncture generally stimulates the production on just one egg, it can’t be substituted for the fertility drugs used in IVF because they work to produce numerous eggs that are necessary for success with the treatment.

Although quickly coming into common use, there are disagreements on why or how it works. Tradition Chinese medicine explains that it moves and stimulates your qi (pronounced “chee”) or life force that should flow through your body, head to toe, unhindered all the time. When this doesn’t happen, illnesses or malfunctions present themselves. Thus, in relation to infertility from a traditional stand point, acupuncture creates a calm and restorative effect that gives rise to a greater sense of well-being and ultimately creates an environment that assists the body in accepting the creation of life. By placing the acupuncture needles on specific energy pathways that are linked to reproductive organs, acupuncture moves the qi from areas of abundance to areas that might need it more, thereby encouraging fertility. This may require a number of sessions over several months for noticeable effects to take hold. A more western perspective points more toward brain chemistry as the reason for its success, linking the treatment with brain hormones involved in conception. It increases endorphin production which plays a role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. It also appears to impact the hypothalamus and pituitary glands and the ovaries, ultimately impacting egg production and possibly ovulation.

Acupuncture used together with a Chinese medicine treatment can improve the chances of conception, further creating an environment more conducive for pregnancy. It increases sperm count, improves ovarian function allowing the creation of more viable eggs, reduces likelihood of miscarriage, increases basal body temperature, and much more.

Ultimately, the choice of whether to use acupuncture and Chinese medication together with your modern fertility treatment or on its own is yours, but the consultation of your doctor to help determine whether it’s right for you is recommended.

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