Faced with a wide array of alternative treatments for fertility issues, some people may ask about the combination of acupuncture and infertility therapy. The truth is that acupuncture is not generally used as a primary therapy for most fertility problems, though it is commonly used as a secondary, supporting therapy. The underlying physical symptoms of infertility are not easily addressed through the methods provided by acupuncture.
However, acupuncture is considered a powerful and effective complementary treatment for infertility. When acupuncture and IVF (in vitro fertilization) are combined, the two treatments are capable to address two separate elements of health and fertility. IVF includes an entire range of therapies specifically aimed at fertilization and temporary implantation of a viable embryo. IVF therapies are excellent for producing eggs, and ensuring a woman's womb is prepared to accept a fertilized egg. However, they are likely to be counterproductive for the patient's level of comfort, and sense of overall health.
It is in this realm that acupuncture and infertility therapies complement each other. Acupuncture is reported to provide pain relief, and is able to address issues of overall health and well-being. This can help to provide patients with the best level of comfort and relief, and can possibly reduce the impact of the most challenging aspects of IVF. Acupuncture is also used to directly affect levels of egg production, and even more critically, to improve the odds of successful implantation.
Recent studies indicate that acupuncture serves as a positive element in a number of instances, with one study (by Dr Eric Manheimer of the University of Maryland School of Medicine) indicating that the use of acupuncture may increase the success of IVF therapy by as much as 65%.
Additional studies in Europe and the US offer signs that acupuncture treatments given on the day of implantation in IVF therapy can improve the success of implantation. Conversely, alternative studies have found no clear correlation between successful implantation and acupuncture – however, acupuncture has been found to be safe and to do no harm.
One of the areas in which acupuncture is also used focuses on patients suffering from hyper or hypo-thyroid conditions. In this instance the aspects of well-being on a metabolic level appear to be addressed by the alternative treatment. However, even in this instance acupuncture is viewed as a complementary therapy augmenting more traditional medical treatments. While direct intervention in a variety of forms, from surgical to pharmaceutical deal with hormonal imbalances, acupuncture, diet and exercise are utilized to provide optimum natural influence on the metabolism.
Because of the mixed results in tests and studies it can not be stated clearly and categorically that acupuncture and infertility treatments taken in conjuction are substantially better than treatments without acupuncture. However, because of the possible advantages that have been observed in a number of studies, and the fact that acupuncture is both harmless and readily available, it is regularly offered as an additional treatment to conventional infertility therapies. Acupuncture is able to increase the selection of approaches fertility professionals can use to help women achieve desired pregnancies.
By using a variety of therapies doctors anticipate providing the best possible results for patients with fertility issues. When acupuncture is offered as a complement to conventional medical therapies a patient can be assured that an entire range of safe and supportive treatments is being provided. The ultimate outcome is a more relaxed patient with a healthy body and, if at all possible, a healthy child.