3 ways Acupuncture Can Optimize Your Fertility
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to improve health and alleviate various medical conditions. In recent years, acupuncture has become increasingly popular as a complementary treatment for infertility. Here's a look at the impact of acupuncture on fertility outcomes based on the latest research:
Improving semen quality: Studies have shown that acupuncture can improve sperm quality by increasing sperm count, motility, and morphology. A 2019 meta-analysis of 26 studies involving 2070 men found that acupuncture significantly improved sperm motility and concentration compared to no treatment.
Increasing pregnancy rates: Acupuncture has been found to increase pregnancy rates in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). A 2021 systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 randomized controlled trials involving 4752 women undergoing ART found that acupuncture significantly improved clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates compared to no acupuncture.
Reducing stress and anxiety: Infertility can be a stressful and emotionally challenging experience for couples. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels in women undergoing infertility treatments. A 2020 meta-analysis of 36 studies involving 2943 women found that acupuncture significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to no intervention or placebo.
Acupuncture can be safely used when trying to conceive naturally or assisted. We see increased benefits with regular treatments (weekly) for at least 1 month prior to an IVF cycle. Consistency is key when it comes to most complimentary interventions and acupuncture is no exception!
For more information check out this blog by my mentor Dr. Spence Pentland,
Jo J, Lee YJ, Lee H. Effectiveness of acupuncture in male infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Andrologia. 2019 Jul;51(6):e13267. doi: 10.1111/and.13267.
Qian Y, Xia XR, Ochin H, Huang C, Gao C, Gao L. Acupuncture and Assisted Reproductive Technology: An Update. Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies. 2021 Aug;14(4):275-282. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2021.06.007.
Shuai Y, Chang Y, Liu Z, Li J, Li H, Chen L, Wu L, Chen L. Acupuncture for reducing anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine. 2020 Oct 23;99(43):e22508. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000022508.