Acupuncture as a treatment for infertility , shows great results both in man and women. Acupuncture can be considered as successful treatment in restoring fertility in the patients, by improving the sperm quality and ovaries function and balancing the endocrine system and hormones. This humble, age old modality, that has some interesting studies to validate it as a good treatment option.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a combination if acupuncture and herbs. TCM sees every patient as unique, and the treatment is made by their current condition and constitution. With such a long history for more than 5000 years, TCM is highly effective with no side effects. Acupuncture as part of the TCM as a treatment for infertility is used for a very long time. With the insertion of tiny sterile needles into acupoints located at specific points on the body the way the body functions can be regulated and the problem that affects fertility can be addressed. Acupuncture treatment can balance the hormones, strengthen the immune system, regulate the energy and blood flow, remove the stasis and phlegm and stimulate the nervous system. With a combination of acupuncture and herbs, it is possible to improve the ovarian and follicular function and increase the blood flow to the endometrium
Acupuncture & IVF
Acupuncture can increase the chances of getting pregnant for women undergoing fertility treatment by 65%, a review of the evidence concludes.
Acupuncture, which involves inserting fine needles under the skin at particular points in the body depending on the condition being treated, has long been used in China to help with a range of diagnoses, including regulating female reproduction.
To establish how effective the treatment is, doctors in the US collated evidence from all relevant, well-conducted studies and published their conclusions in today's British Medical Journal.
Eric Manheimer, research associate at the centre for Integrative Medicine at The University of Maryland School Of Medicine and colleagues looked at seven studies. All had been published in English since 2002 and conducted in four different western countries. The trials involved 1,366 women undergoing in vitro fertility treatment - where eggs and sperm are removed and mixed in the laboratory and one or more resulting embryos returned to the womb.
In the trials some women were given genuine acupuncture, others "placebo" acupuncture, such as putting needles in the wrong places, and some no treatment at all. Overall the genuine acupuncture improved a woman's chances of pregnancy by 65%. All the acupuncture took place within a day or so of embryo transfer. Not all the pregnancies would have resulted in a live birth. In trials where the clinic's pregnancy rate was already high, there was a smaller, non-significant increase. Manheimer said the results were not necessarily a reason for every infertile woman to seek out acupuncture.
"I think the findings should be regarded as somewhat preliminary," he said. "Acupuncture can improve the rates of pregnancy and live birth. Some couples might want to choose acupuncture but others might want to wait until further research has been done."
But Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula medical school, Exeter, urged caution. "IVF may not seem to be 'placebo-prone' but it probably is: if women expect it to be helpful they are more relaxed, which in turn would affect pregnancy rates."
Manheimer argued a placebo response was unlikely, arguing that acupuncture may stimulate the body to produce neurotransmitters which influence the menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility.
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Zhang M, Huang G, Lu F, Paulus WE, Sterzik K. Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2002;22(3):228-230. Zhu J, Arsovska B, Kozovska K. Acupuncture treatment for fertility. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences. 2018 Sep 25;6(9):1685.
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