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Infertility and Acupuncture

What is infertility ?

Infertility is defined as the inability for a couple to become pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse. The male partner, the female partner, or both may have a fertility problem.

Is infertility a common problem ?

Current statistics state that one in five couples over the age of 30 have difficulty conceiving after one year of trying.

Common causes of infertility for women

Fallopian tubes  - pelvic infections, endometriosis, and pelvic surgeries may lead to scar formation and fallopian tube damage.

Ovulation -failed to release an egg,  e.g. diabetes,thyroid problems,ovarian cysts.

Uterine - tumors, irregular shape of the uterine, uterine fibroids.

Hormonal  - the thickening or thinning of the endometrium (lining of the uterus), high FSH, age. 

Cervical  -a cervical condition in which the sperm cannot pass through the cervical canal. Whether due to abnormal mucus production or a prior cervical surgical procedure.

Immunologic - allergic to sperm, antibodies.

Stress - the ferlity killer.

Unexplained infertility -in approximately 20% of couples nothing be determined using the currently available methods of investigation.  

Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations

  •  Avoid alcohol, caffeine,sodas,and sugar.
  •  Stop smoking and drugs.
  •  Increase the intake of whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
  •  Take good carbs (whole grains,beans, vegetables,fruits).
  •  Take oily fish, fish liver oils, seeds, nuts,beans,pumpkins-seeds oils.
  •  Avoid foods with wheat protein, gluten, white bread,pastas,potatoes.
  •  Take Supplements, multivitamin, vitamins ( E, A. C, B complex),  Zinc.
  •  Identify and control food allergies.
  •  Get regular exercise.
  •  Being at a healthy weight.
  •  Perform a relaxation exercise (deep breathing, meditation, prayer).
  •  Drink at least 48 ounces of water daily.

Natural Approaches to Treating Infertility

  • Eating a healthy diet and lifestyle change.
  • Exercising in moderation.
  • Emotional/Spiritual health.
  • Learning about the best time to conceive.
  • Receiving a series of acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs.

How Acupuncture Can Enhance Fertility ?

Researchers have confirmed its benefit in the following areas:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety associated with infertility.
  • Normalize hormone and endocrine systems.
  • Regulate menstrual cycle.
  • Improve blood flow in the uterus.
  • Decrease chance of miscarriage.
  • Increase the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing IVF.
  • Improve sperm count and motility (for men ).

I want to have acupuncture treatment for IVF when I Should start acupuncture

we recommend that you start acupuncture treatment at least 2 months prior to the commencement of the IVF cycle and that you continue for 1 to 2 times a week until the day of the transfer and a week after.

Useful Links:

Acupuncture on the day of enbryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women:a prospective, randomized trial

                           Fertility and sterility. 2006 May;85(5):1341-6.

Acupuncture Shows Promise in Improving Rates of Pregnancy Following IVF

                     British Medical Journal.   2008 March;336:545-549  

MSNBC Today's show: Rethinking Infertility Series, Eastern Approaches to Pregnancy  (09-17-2008)