Is there any value in pursuing acupuncture for infertility?
When you want nothing more than to have a baby, you’re willing to try just about anything to see a positive pregnancy test. You may have heard stories about women who were able to become mothers after pursuing acupuncture for infertility, but is there any truth to these tales? Erika Munch MD finds that some forms of complementary fertility care can be beneficial. In this blog, our San Antonio infertility specialist will provide more information about acupuncture.
What is acupuncture, and is it safe?
Acupuncture involves inserting very thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body. These points are located on channels, or meridians, which are pathways that energy flows through in the body. Inserting needles into certain points is said to help regulate or improve the way that the body functions.
While acupuncture is generally safe, it’s important to only visit an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. There is evidence that the risk of miscarriage can increase if an acupuncturist uses the wrong points during pregnancy.
So, is acupuncture for infertility beneficial?
Acupuncture has been used to help treat ovulatory dysfunction and male infertility, as well as serving as a form of complementary fertility care during an IVF cycle. It may also be able to help address fertility issues related to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Most existing studies that have looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture for infertility have suggested that it has a positive effect. Researchers believe that this is because acupuncture can improve ovarian and uterine blood flow, help with immune function and reduce depression and anxiety. However, researchers also stress that we need more well-designed, randomized studies to help confirm these findings.
That being said, our San Antonio infertility specialist typically doesn’t see any harm in a patient pursuing acupuncture for infertility as part of traditional fertility treatment. However, she recommends that a patient let their fertility doctor know that they are using acupuncture during their treatment.
Contact us to schedule an appointment if you would like to learn more about fertility treatments and complementary fertility care. We want to help you create your ideal path to parenthood.