Posted by Joe Downer |  | Posted in Acupuncture.

We all can feel the pain of the emotional and financial drain on couples who are having difficulty trying to conceive.  While many solutions are available, in truth, there is no known solution that has a 100% success rate in achieving pregnancy by natural conception, and a healthy baby at birth.

Unhappily, most conception solutions that traditional medicine has to offer for infertility usually come with one or more undesirable side effects. For example, the commonly prescribed Clomid, while shown to increase the fertility rate of women by stimulating ovulation, produces such side effects as nausea and vomiting, head ache, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat and vision changes.

Common infertility treatments for men used by Western doctors includes androgens (mesterolone), FSH injections, kallikrein, testolactone, clomiphene, steroids, and antioxidants (vitamins E and C) in an effort to increase sperm count. The conception success rate with this approach is not high.

Acupuncture Improves Natural Pregnancy Rates

Acupuncture is a proven safe approach to addressing infertility problems.  Research suggests that acupuncture is effective in reducing stress, a known block to achieving pregnancy. Dr. Jamie Grifo said that “it’s not a panacea, but acupuncture does help some patients have better success… It’s one non-traditional modality to help manage the stress of infertility, and it does improve pregnancy rates and quality of life in some people.”

Both sperm count and sperm health are factors in achieving healthy conception.  Several acupuncture studies have shown significant improvements in sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim).  Dr. Lisa Lilienfield, the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, VA, explains that acupuncture can help increase a woman’s fertility by improving blood flow to the ovaries and uterus.

Acupuncture Improves the Success Rate of in vitro fertilization

Acupuncture has also been shown to be helpful in improving the success rate of in vitro  fertilization (IVF).  German researchers, in 2002, found, among a group of 160 women who were undergoing IVF treatment, that 42 percent of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant.  In a control group not receiving acupuncture treatments, only 26 percent were successful.

Our Advice

If you are experiencing pregnancy difficulties, follow the advice of Dr. Grifo: “If you are trying to get pregnant and struggling with it, you don’t need to wait a year. And, if you’re over 35, don’t wait six months to get worked up if it’s causing you distress.”


Sources, Jan. 27, 2013, (HealthDay News) By Serena Gordon,, Helen H. Kim, M.D., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago, Jamie Grifo, M.D., director, division of reproductive endocrinology, and director, NYU Fertility Center, New York City; April 2011, Journal of Endocrinological Investigation; December 2010, Acupuncture in Medicine

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