Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of treating women’s health problems, with texts from 200 BC describing medicinal plants to treat infertility. Today Traditional Chinese medicine specialists have adapted and incorporated these traditional applications into modern fertility treatment.
This has resulted in clinical feed back and research suggesting that acupuncture is capable of significantly enhancing fertility.
Research on acupuncture during Embryo replacement
In a study of 114 women at the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Centre in Colorado Springs half of the women received acupuncture prior to and following embryo replacement. The women who received acupuncture had
- A 51% pregnancy rate compared to 36% in control group
- A 08% miscarriage rate compared to 20% in control group
- Acupuncture also was found to reduce the risk of tubal pregnancy and increase the
live birth rate. The live birth rate for each IVF cycle was 23 % higher than the
cycles for the control group.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) October 2004
Research on acupuncture and sperm function
40 men with unexplained sperm abnormalities (oligospermia, asthenospermia, or teratozoospermia) were studied. 28 of the men (70%) received acupuncture twice weekly for five weeks. The semen samples from both groups were quantitatively analysed by transmission electron microscopy. After acupuncture, there was a statistically significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm, and improvement in overall morphology of the sperm without defects seen in the total ejaculates.
Fertility and Sterility. 2005;84:141-147
Acupuncture offers woman and their partners the opportunity to prepare for conception through optimising their health. This can be directed at specific health problems such as polycystetic ovarian syndrome and irregular menstrual cycles through to general health problems such as stress and can be used as a sole treatment or used in conjunction with western medical fertility treatment.
Compiled by Debra Betts, author
of "The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth"