Acupuncture: Can it Really Be Used to Treat Infertility?
Posted Nov 17 2009 9:47pm
The Chinese art of acupuncture has been used for centuries to help the body heal. Acupuncture itself is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles, which vary in length. There are specific points on the body that are relevant to the function of different organs. These points are the channels or meridians from the external body to the internal body. The insertion of the needle is used to either block or unblock a specific channel to control a body function that is either over or under functioning. The Thyroid Gland is a perfect example. When the Thyroid Gland is under-functioning it is called hypothyroidism and when it is over-functioning it is called hyperthyroidism. The use of acupuncture in overcoming infertility has been very successful. Especially when used in conjunction with herbal medicine and traditional medical interventions. Acupuncture is a process-oriented therapy that requires treatments over a period of time, usually three to four months. After these treatments have been completed then it is possible for different forms of insemination to be used, which have been extremely successful. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine improves ovarian and follicular function. This type of therapy helps increase blood flow to the endometrium, which helps in facilitating a thick rich lining. Once the endometrium is ready then IVF (in vitro fertilization) or donor-egg transfer can become therapeutically effective. Caution: Although there is minimal risk of using acupuncture for fertility treatment there are a number of areas to be avoided once a patient becomes pregnant. They are the Gallbladder (point 21), Bladder (point 67), Bladder (point 60), Large Intestine (point 4), Stomach (point 12), Spleen (point 6). You should also avoid any points on the lower abdomen. A risk of miscarriage does exist if an incorrect point is used while a woman is pregnant. Always use an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. Check with the board certification authority in your state. Here is a website that may help you find a licensed acupuncturist in your area: www.nccaom.org Acupuncture can be used through week twelve. Miscarriages usually occur within the first trimester of pregnancy. Treatments can continue through week twelve. There are a number of OB/GYN studies that show effective fertility treatments involving acupuncture. There have been studies done in Europe as well as the United states that show that over 50% of women treated with acupuncture were successful with their IVF treatment and got pregnant. The study also shows that there were fewer miscarriages in the group of women who used acupuncture. What does this mean for you? Well, many medical doctors are utilizing acupuncture in their everyday practice. They are being trained with hundreds of hours in the proper use of acupuncture and there are many professionals who specialize in just acupuncture. It is quite apparent that acupuncture is becoming an acceptable option for the treatment of infertility. This option is one that should be completely explored and considered for those of you who are considering IVF. Always consult your physician on any treatments concerning your attempt to become pregnant.