Acupuncture promotes fertility and facilitates conception by a general emphasis on mental and physical health, as well as a specific focus on the reproductive system. It is one of the oldest specialisms in the Chinese medicine and has been in continuous use for this indication for several thousand years. It is both less expensive and less invasive than IVF.
Here are some links to research:
- This was a recent study comparing acupuncture to Clomid. (The article then goes on to suggest that acupressure is a reasonable substitute for acupuncture for fertility. I think this is unlikely and while I’m sure that yoga is helpful, I’m not sure there is a clear correlation between yoga practice and conception).
- Though most patients seeking treatment to enhance fertility are female, their partners also often suffer less than optimal sperm quality. The link to this excellent book has a quick review of literature on the efficacy of acupuncture in male infertility.
- This is is a link to a very recent study at the University of Göthenberg in Sweden on the use of acupuncture in the induction of ovulation in patients with PCOS:
- A particular forte of acupuncture is the treatment of habitual miscarriage, the diagnosis and treatment of which is simple relative to other conditions. In Chinese Medicine there are two broad types or categories of habitual miscarriage. The first type is accompanied by tiredness, dizziness, and sometimes palpitations and insomnia. The second type is accompanied by many signs of heat such as red cheeks and thirst, irritability and sometimes soreness of the lower back. This list of symptoms is not exhaustive, and not every patient will manifest every symptom.
- Apart from acupuncture treatment, Chinese dietary therapy may be recommended. Patients in the first group will be advised (though not coerced) to abstain from foods that are chilled or excessively sweet, and patients in the second group will be encouraged to consume chilled and cooling foods, including copious salads and some fruits (cucumbers, lettuce and watermelons for example, are considered very cooling foods in Chinese Medicine). This is a good, clear example of the Chinese Medicine principle of administering different treatments to patients with the same presenting complaint, depending on their underlying constitutions, as revealed by the various diagnostic procedures. This principle applies not only to the treatment of miscarriage but to every condition.
- This is one patient’s experience: “When I was diagnosed with PCOS some years ago I was told that I would find it difficult to fall pregnant, yet with treatment I feel pregnant almost immediately, much to my GP’s shock! I’ve also found it incredibly useful for joint pain (was referred by my physio), but it also helped with my morning sickness in pregnancy too”.