Ask Dr. Michael: Acupuncture & Infertility
Does acupuncture help infertile couples get pregnant?
Yes, acupuncture is effective in assisting infertile couples to get pregnant!
In a landmark research study conducted at the University of Arizona Medical School, women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) received acupuncture before and after embryo transfer. Compared to the national average of a 24% success rate becoming pregnant on the first IVF cycle with IVF alone, those assisted by acupuncture were twice as likely to get pregnant on their first IVF cycle!
In my practice I see a 70% first time IVF success rate — far better results than in the study — mainly because I don’t limit my treatment to the two treatments on the day of IVF transfer. In addition to my following the pre-transfer and post-transfer treatment protocols in the study, I generally do several weeks of 5 Element Acupuncture prior to the woman’s embryo transfer date. These additional treatments help to prepare my patient for optimum fertility and achieve better results.
I also treat many couples that do not opt for IVF. Using an all-natural approach for infertility can not only save a great deal of money, but makes sense for many couples. For example, if the woman’s infertility is unexplained, and if the man’s sperm analysis is normal, IVF may not be necessary. Acupuncture, often supplemented with herbal medicine, can be especially helpful in these cases. For my patients struggling with infertility, I recommend a family consultation to determine the best plan of action.