by Chrysa Karakosta on April 29, 2015
Acupuncture has been used for millennia in traditional Chinese medicine, for a whole range of illnesses. The theory behind this treatment is that the acupuncturist stimulates specific points on the body, which reside on channels or meridians, in order to balance the vital energy (Qi) flow through the body.
Studies investigating the benefits of acupuncture in men and women having IVF have, so far, been controversial. Small studies have been very promising, but more studies are needed to prove if acupuncture can really make a difference in people trying to conceive and actually impact IVF success rates.
In women who are trying to conceive, the theory is that acupuncture aids implantation by increasing blood flow to the uterus and relaxing the muscle tissue. Acupuncture is also used to aid the thyroid function, and also to reduce stress levels. Anything that reduces stress is very appealing as it is believed that women undergoing infertility treatment have reported equivalent levels of anxiety and depression as women who are diagnosed with cancer.
There have also been studies performed in how acupuncture helps male infertility. Acupuncture does not seem to significantly reduce some sperm abnormalities. However, the treatment could be used to improve overall sperm quality, leading to the possibility of increased fertility.
As previously stated, new studies need to be performed to correctly evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture. In the meantime it is a relatively safe technique and it does not harm anyone wanting to try something different.
If you do decide to try acupuncture, look for a certified acupuncturist, many of whom are also medical doctors. Newlife works closely with a certified acupuncturist who is also a medical doctor in anesthesia. We can offer this treatment to patients undergoing treatment with us here.