That, of course, is the most important question. Several recent studies show that it does work. Acupuncture alone improves the rate of conception for couples struggling with infertility. In addition, acupuncture improves the rate of conception for couples who are using artificial reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization.
How Does It Work?
Eastern medicine has its own explanations for how acupuncture works. We are not sure how it works in Western medicine. We do know that acupuncture for infertility has the following effects, and that those effects improve your chances of conceiving:
Acupuncture for infertility increases blood flow to the uterus, which improves uterine wall thickness prior to implantation.
It increases endorphins. Increased endorphin levels cause gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) to be released. GnRH helps regulate the reproductive cycle in women.
Acupuncture decreases the level of stress hormones. Stress hormones interfere with uterine blood flow and reproductive hormone release.
Acupuncture for infertility normalizes the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, which normalizes reproductive hormone levels.
Who Should Try Acupuncture For Infertility Treatment?
Acupuncture is most likely to help couples who have a functional type of infertility. That means that they do not have structural abnormalities in their reproductive systems.
Some clinics recommend that the woman have an acupuncture treatment in in vitro fertilization just before having the fertilized egg injected into her uterus. It seems to help the egg implant into the uterine wall.
Where Can I Get Acupuncture For Infertility Treatment?
The American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine is a board which certifies acupuncturists in Reproductive Acupuncture and herbal medicine.