Fertility, or lack thereof, is a hot issue these days. We’ve all seen the news stories about multiple births, frequently the result of in-vitro fertilisation and high-tech fertility drugs.
However, even with all the advances of modern science, numerous couples turn to a treatment that is centuries old. Where contemporary science fails, the ancient mysteries of Chinese medicine can sometimes deliver results. In fact, Dr. Raymond Chang of Meridian Medical states that most of their patients have been referred by specialists in reproductive medicine.
These patients may have experienced repeated failures to conceive by in vitro fertilisation, and their doctors are turning to acupuncture as an adjunct to conventional treatment.
Acupuncture is the process of placing tiny needles at various points on the body. They are believed to stimulate the energies that regulate the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual balance of the person being treated. James Dillard (MD), an assistant professor at Columbia University, states that it helps the body to function better, and that in turn causes modern treatments for infertility to work better.
In April of 2002, a study was published in the journal, Fertility and Sterility. 160 women were studied. 80 patients received acupuncture treatments before and after having fertilised embryos implanted in the uterus. The second group of 80 did not receive acupuncture treatments. In the acupuncture group, 34 women became pregnant, compared with 21 in the non-acupuncture group. This would seem to indicate the efficacy of acupuncture in enhancing fertility.
Dr. Chang points out that acupuncture can assist in fertility generally, not just as an adjunct to IVF. He points out, however, that because without fertility drugs, acupuncture will likely release only one egg, the odds of multiple birth are reduced.
The results of the Columbia study would seem to suggest that acupuncture can be an effective adjunct to conventional therapies. Also, used on its own, acupuncture is known to be an effective stress-reducer, and it is generally believed that the stress of trying over and over to become pregnant can actually hinder the process.
There have also been studies conducted on the effect of acupuncture on male fertility. The research suggests that acupuncture can improve the sperm count and also result in increased motility. A 2005 study published in Fertility and Sterility analysed samples of sperm from men who had infertility that had no known cause. Acupuncture seemed to result in an increased sperm count and a reduction in defective sperm.
Some experts believe that better studies are needed, and that it is possible that the treatments were successful because the patients wanted to believe that they would be. This is commonly known as a “placebo” effect. In the final analysis, though, if the treatment is successful, the reason for its success doesn’t really matter.
If you live in York & you’d like help boosting your fertility naturally, contact Tiziana today to schedule an acupuncture appointment.