Any couple who faces infertility knows that this problem can be quite frustrating and that, even though modern medicine offers many solutions, it’s not always treatable as it should be. Couple who wants to conceive knows the heartache of this problem, so it is no wonder that people will try and be open to almost anything which could increase the chance of having a baby. Even modern medicine practitioners can agree that many alternative methods can be quite useful in the treatment of infertility, including traditional Chinese practice acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese medicine treatment and scientific research
Acupuncture, usually in combination with the herbal medicine, has been used for hundreds and hundreds of years to treat most of the causes which may lead to infertility. Other problems, such as tubal adhesion, which can be a result of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, cannot be treated with acupuncture, but with contemporary medicine methods. On the other hand, an individual can benefit from acupuncture because it can show a potential effect on the improvement of follicular and ovarian function. In addition, acupuncture can increase the blood flow to endometrium, which helps it to facilitate a rich, thick lining.
In 2002, a group of German scientists found that the practice of acupuncture can significantly increase the odds of pregnancy. A group of 160 women who had IVF treatment were used in this experiment, where 42 of them got pregnant, compared to the 26 percent of women who didn’t receive this treatment. The scientists had a theory that acupuncture helped to increase the blood flow to the uterus and relax the muscles, which gave the embryos a chance to be implanted successfully.
The benefits of acupuncture for infertility treatment
On the other hand, other research showed that the acupuncture can be quite effective in stress reduction. Since the stress can interfere with the chances of getting pregnant, it makes complete sense that stress reduction via acupuncture can theoretically improve the chances of conceiving. Some women believe that acupuncture can help them to cope with the stress in the period during they wish to conceive.
Male infertility can also be treated with acupuncture. Few studies suggested that regular acupuncture treatments can improve the count of sperm and also the motility of spermatozoids. As for the count of the spermatozoids which is sufficient for the impregnation, it goes to the count of 10 to 12 million minimum. The men in these studies unfortunately didn’t achieve the needed number in order to make the results successful.
Overall, the acupuncture can be considered as the treatment which is similar to the physical therapy. The usual time spent for the treatment is three to four months before the insemination, IVF or even donor-egg transfer. Most carriages usually occur in the first trimester, or first three months of pregnancy. Due to this, the treatment can be continued twelve weeks more in order to prevent the miscarriage.
The contraindicated points
The needles shouldn’t be placed in the abdomino-pelvic area, especially after the transfer or insemination. When the patient is pregnant or when it is suspected that the patient is pregnant, 6 acupuncture points are contraindicated and should be avoided. The points are Stomach 12, Large Intestine 4, Gallbladder 21, Bladder 60, Bladder 67, Spleen 6 and any other point located on the lower abdomen.
The risk for infertility treatment
As for the potential risks, the acupuncture bears minimal risks when used in for the fertility reasons. Risk of miscarriage is possible and it increases if the previously forbidden acupuncture points are used. In any other case, the miscarriage risk is minimal and almost impossible. Because of this potential miscarriage risk, it is essential be treated by an acupuncturist who specialized in the treatment of fertility disorders. Regardless of the person’s medical history, acupuncture is considered safe. Acupuncture can be used for treating almost any infertility disorder, including spasm of the tubes. The usual combination of acupuncture and herbal remedies can be used for treating the elevated follicle stimulating hormone or FSH, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, repeated pregnancy loss, hyperprolactinemia, luteal phase defect and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
The tips to follow
Since the flow of qi is one of the most important aspects in acupuncture treatment of infertility, there are some tips that can help a person to achieve the needed qi. These tips will surely rock the qi in the motherhood direction. The following tips are:
- Look for a doctor who is enough adequate and licenced in acupuncture, with a background in treating the infertility disorders. A person who practices acupuncture once in a while usually has experience of several hundred hours, compared to several thousand hours required for traditional Chinese medicine doctor
- An acupuncturist whom you are looking for should be associated with a major academic medical centre
- It is important to achieve a working relationship between your acupuncturist and reproductive endocrinologist so they could work in the desired harmony in order to establish the needed treatment regimen
- If you have decided not to visit a fertility specialist, then you should pay at least a visit to an obstetrician before asking help from the acupuncturist. Your obstetrician should be aware of you plan which involves the acupuncture treatment
- Acupuncture usually goes along with the traditional Chinese herbal medicine, but if you are undergoing IVF or any other fertility treatment, the use of herbs should be banned, unless it is okay with the reproductive medicine specialist
- If a person is under the IVF protocol and acupuncture treatment simultaneously, once the implantation stage is received, one should take a pregnancy test. This should be done before proceeding with the additional acupuncture treatments. If you wish to get pregnant without the help of any fertility specialist, then contacting obstetrician is a must. Some of the acupuncture points which are used for the uterus stimulation in order to increase the fertility, can also cause the miscarriage, so these should be highly avoided. Therefore, you should know if you are possibly pregnant before advancing to further treatment.