A fundamental therapy in Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been used for more than 3,500 years. Now, studies in the U.S. and Europe indicate that acupuncture can improve fertility when combined with Western treatments. These studies show that acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus and helps release the body’s endorphins, which play a critical role in overall balance and feeling of well-being.
Acupuncture Increases Uterine Blood Supply – Experimental Evidence
By monitoring blood flow, researchers showed that applying acupuncture to the points specified for female infertility indeed increases blood supply to the uterus. This is important because the increased blood supply can cause thickening of the endometrial lining of the uterus. The endometrial lining is the part of the uterus that receives and nourishes the fertilized egg, the fundamental first step to establishing a pregnancy. This thickening was confirmed when the endometrial lining was monitored by ultrasound. In fact, the studies show that acupuncture fertility treatments are just as effective at causing endometrial thickening as traditional estrogen therapy—the standard treatment for a thin endometrial lining in Western medicine.
Acupuncture Therapy for Fertility Nearly Doubles Pregnancy Rates
In a large, very well-designed study in Germany, acupuncutre therapy for fertility was shown to nearly double the clinical pregnancy rates for fertility patients undergoing IVF treatment. In that study, the baseline pregnancy rate without acupuncture was below the baseline of the best U.S. fertility centers, while all other aspects of the German and U.S. treatments and procedures were similar. The dramatic increase in the pregnancy rate strongly suggests fertility acupuncture has a powerful additive effect when used to complement IVF treatment.
Acupuncture May Help Male Infertility Too
Additional scientific literature suggests that acupuncture may also increase (but not normalize) low sperm counts, indicating that acupuncture may also play a positive role in the treatment of male infertility.
An acupuncturist can be an important adjunct to the core services provided by your fertility team. Acupuncture fertility treatments are another good example of the integrative approach used at SCRC, combining complementary and alternative medicine therapies with more traditional medical and surgical infertility treatments. We have several acupuncturists that we use regularly whom we recommend highly; however, you are welcome to use your own acupuncturist if you prefer.
For couples seeking to create a family, both the female and male partner can use acupuncture as an effective addition to standard infertility treatment, it may significantly improve your fertility treatment outcome.
Acupuncture has no or very minor side effects. Acupuncture needles are very small and cause less discomfort than a simple blood draw or IV start. The positive effects of acupuncture vastly outweigh any concerns over the procedure.
Contact us at SCRC by clicking here, or call us at (800) 600-9112 to find out more about fertility acupuncture therapy at our Los Angeles-area offices or to schedule a consultation with an SCRC fertility specialist.