Fertility Acupuncture is becoming much more of a mainstream treatment for couples to address fertility concerns. Unfortunately, infertility is on the rise and modern day living appears to be a big contributing factor. It is about a 50/50 split between male and female factor fertility issues. Modern day issues such as stress, excessive work, lack of sleep and exercise, consuming nutrient depleted foods, exposure to daily toxins in our environment, and the decision to have children later in life, are all contributing factors to a decrease in fertility outcomes. As more western style (double-blind, placebo controlled) studies indicate the effectiveness of acupuncture in increasing IVF success, interest by western doctors has also increased. Many fertility clinics have begun to incorporate acupuncture care into their IVF and IUI treatment protocols and are referring their patients for adjunct acupuncture care or already have acupuncturists on staff.
Whether you are attempting to naturally conceive or use Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), like IVF or IUI, fertility challenges can feel isolating and overwhelming. A common western medical diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" can leave individuals and families feeling powerless along with the emotional stress and financial pressure involved. The ultimate goal at Acupuncture Wellness and Fertility Clinic is to help achieve pregnancy and live birth, while creating a healing space of support and individualized care along the way.
Benefits of Acupuncture
- Improves sperm count, motility and abnormality
- Helps lower stress levels
- Improves hormone levels
- Improves follicle count and quality
- Help the prevention of miscarriages
- Regulates stress feedback loops which impacts ovarian/ pituitary/ hypothalamus axis
- Helps alleviate side effects from pharmaceuticals used in ART
- Regulation of menstrual cycles and hormone levels
- Increases quality of uterine lining as well as thickness to encourage implantation
- Promotes health for advanced maternal age concerns
- Lowers elevated FSH
- Decreases overall inflammation in the body
- Improves success rates of ICI, IUI and IVF up to 40-60% according to research
- Helps prepare a solid function for donor sperm or donor egg cycles
- Supports single mothers by choice and surrogates
Do Both Partners Require Acupuncture?
It is best if you and your partner attend the first consultation. This allows specific concerns to be discussed with your acupuncturist and will help clarify if it is the male factor, female factor, or both which will help determine the course of treatment. It is important to the success of the treatment that both partners participate in lifestyle and dietary factors which support this process.
How Long Does It Take to Conceive?
The answer to this question is individual to the presentation at hand. Many factors such as, current health and fertility status, age, dietary and lifestyle choices, whether or not you use acupuncture as a primary or supportive treatment, will all determine the duration of treatment and the number of treatments required. It takes approximately 90 days to generate new sperm and usually a minimum of 90 days to help regulate a cycle in a woman. A woman's eggs can be influenced by their environment approximately 150 days before they are recruited (in ovulation or retrieved in ART) indicating that the lifestyle, diet, and treatment, along with other factors, will impact egg quality. Some individuals choose to only receive acupuncture the day of the embryo transfer if they are getting IVF or around ovulation in natural cycles which has been shown in studies to increase outcomes but to really improve health overall and impact egg and sperm quality cumulative sessions are indicated.
The health of the reproductive system does not occur in isolation and is very much a part of overall health. This is why couples or individuals with diminished ovarian reserve usually have to make a concerted effort in various lifestyle factors to gain enough momentum to produce a positive shift in overall well being and reproductive health. While genetics can play a part in the progression of aging, current research is definitely showing that we have a great amount of influence on the expression of our genes through our choices.
After 4-5 sessions we can assess how well you are responding to treatment.
How is Progress Determined Over The Course of Treatment?
Improvements in the hormone levels or sperm quantity and quality would be good indicators of progress. Charting the basal body temperature can also provide information about the probabilities of pregnancy increasing and indicate if hormonal imbalances are improving. Simply observing symptoms to see if stress levels are decreased or side effects from taking fertility drugs are minimized are also ways we can observe progress.
Does Insurance Cover Acupuncture?
Currently we are in network with Cigna and United Healthcare and can bill for out of network coverage if you have acupuncture benefits included in your plan. Unfortunately, insurance companies will not cover the diagnosis of infertility with acupuncture. You can get your benefits verified by clicking on the 'New Patients' and clicking the 'Verify Your Insurance' tab.
Who is a Good Candidate For Acupuncture & Who is Not?
- Couples who are having difficulty conceiving but are not ready for ART. Some will conceive using acupuncture and others will move on to ART.
- Women who have done IVF and are taking a break and preparing for another cycle and are seeking acupuncture to improve their probabilities.
- Women who have done 3 to 5 cycles of IVF without success and women who have been advised not to undergo IVF by their doctor.
- Couples who prefer natural medicine or have concerns about ART and are young enough without time constraints to undergo the longer preparation period usually required for acupuncture.
- infertility due to tubal blockage.
- premature ovarian failure
- Men with low sperm counts who have don’t have time for several months of treatment should also consider ART as the primary treatment modality.
*using acupuncture only as an adjunct to ART may be effective and supportive in these presentations