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Acupuncture for Fertility – Melbourne


Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing which seeks to correct imbalances in the flow of energy (Qi) via stimulating points in the body. Acupuncture treatment can be used to improve a wide range of conditions, including stress, gastrointestinal disorders and fatigue. Acupuncture treatment can also aid couples who are considering becoming pregnant, or are experiencing difficulties in conceiving. Acupuncture for fertility can help couples enhance their natural fertility as well as improve the chances of conception when undertaking In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

A beneficial option

Acupuncture for fertility is a beneficial treatment option for women with low fertility, including those suffering from oligomenorrhea (light or infrequent menstruation), luteal phase defects (disruptions in the monthly menstrual cycle) or other hormone disorders. Acupuncture treatment can help to optimize and regulate the menstrual cycle and improve overall general health in order to enhance female fertility, making it a good treatment option for women who are considering becoming pregnant, or are experiencing difficulties in falling pregnant. Studies have shown that acupuncture therapy may adjust endocrine (hormone) function in women, stimulating ovulation and therefore increasing the chance of pregnancy occurring.

One of the areas where acupuncture for fertility is most beneficial is when it is used as an aid to increase the chance of becoming pregnant during IVF treatment. There are many ways to utilize the potential benefit of acupuncture treatment during IVF. Studies have shown that patients who received acupuncture therapy on the same day as an embryo transfer had improved reproductive outcomes when compared to those who did not receive acupuncture for fertility. Another study has shown that patients undergoing an embryo transfer procedure who received acupuncture treatment 25 minutes before and 25 minutes after the procedure had a higher rate of clinical pregnancy than those who received an embryo transfer without any supportive therapy.

Helpful at varying stages of treatment

Acupuncture for fertility has also been shown to be beneficial to those undergoing IVF during different stages of the process. A study has shown that patients who are undergoing IVF treatment involving intracytoplasmic sperm injection also have higher rates of pregnancy if they receive acupuncture during the luteal-phase, compared to those who do not receive any acupuncture treatment.

Another way that acupuncture for fertility can help to promote pregnancy is to improve the fertility of the male. One reason a couple may experience difficulties in becoming pregnant can be low male fertility. This is often a result of decreased sperm activity. Studies have shown that acupuncture treatment, when compared to controls, can help to increase male fertility by improving sperm motility and activity. Acupuncture for fertility has also been shown to exert a regulatory effect on reproductive immune function, including exhibiting an inhibitory effect on cytotoxic antibodies that reduce sperm quality. Acupuncture therapy therefore could be highly beneficial to couples who are struggling to become pregnant due to poor male fertility.

Aside from the benefits of increased chance of pregnancy as a result of acupuncture for fertility, acupuncture treatment has also been shown to play an important role in improving the mental health of women undergoing IVF. One study showed that receiving acupuncture for fertility (to aid natural conception or as a supportive therapy to IVF) improved self-efficacy and psychological coping amongst women who were experiencing delays in getting pregnant.

Whether you are planning on becoming pregnant, are experiencing difficulties conceiving or are undergoing IVF treatment, contact our experienced acupuncture doctors at CityHealth for professional and compassionate acupuncture treatment.

References

Dieterle, S., Ying, G., Hatzmann, W., & Neuer, A. (2006). Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Fertility and sterility, 85(5), 1347-1351.

Kovářová, P., Smith, C. A., & Turnbull, D. A. (2010). An exploratory study of the effect of acupuncture on self-efficacy for women seeking fertility support.Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 6(5), 330-334.

Mo, X., Li, D., Pu, Y., Xi, G., Le, X., & Fu, Z. (1993). Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of ovulation. JOURNAL OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE-ENGLISH EDITION-, 13, 115-115.

Paulus, W. E., Zhang, M., Strehler, E., El-Danasouri, I., & Sterzik, K. (2002). Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertility and sterility, 77(4), 721-724.

Sherman, S., Eltes, F., Wolfson, V., Zabludovsky, N., & Bartoov, B. (1997). Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Archives of andrology, 39(2), 155-161.

Westergaard, L. G., Mao, Q., Krogslund, M., Sandrini, S., Lenz, S., & Grinsted, J. (2006). Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Fertility and sterility, 85(5), 1341-1346.