A lot of people are faced with the difficulty of conceiving a child due to infertility. It affects about 10% to 15% of couples, and as people age, so too the likelihood of infertility. Infertility, as defined by the World Health Organization as the incapacity to conceive a child after a couple of years of regular sexual intercourse free of contraceptives. Fertility assessment and treatment in the U.S., is typically considered when,after a whole year of trying, couples still fail to conceive.
Infertility in women can have several possible causes. They can be due to conditions affecting the endocrine system, adrenal deficiency, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. Chlamydia and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can cause infertility as it can damage the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) are the other frequent causes of infertility. In men, poor sperm motility and count are the most common causes of infertility. In about 15% to 20% of infertility cases, no definitive etiology can be found. This type of infertility is classified as “unexplained infertility”. Medicalattention should be sought by couples who are dealing with infertility in order to know its etiology and thus get the appropriate course of treatment.
As a therapy, acupuncture is done by inserting very fine needles in certain points on the body known as pressure points or acupoints. Acupuncture has been practiced for more than 2,000 years and was invented in China. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory states that Qi or vital energy circulates all over the body through pathways known as meridians. Disease develops when there is an imbalance in the flow of Qi. TCM therapies such as acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs, aim to bring back balance when disease arises. So long as it has been practiced, acupuncture in Miami has been a go to treatment for a lot of people suffering infertility. Its use for this purpose was first documented more than a thousand years ago. This treatment was experienced by millions of Americans for over four decades. A lot of these people selected acupuncture as treatment for their infertility.
There has been extensive research done on acupuncture, a lot of it dealing with infertility. Therefore, infertility acupuncture treatment is well documented in both Chinese and Western medical literature. Research reveals that the following processes happen because of acupuncture:
• Relief of stress which more often than not, is a problem of couples who have a hard time conceiving
• Enhancedquantity and quality of the sperm
• Stabilizationof the hormones required for fertilization
• Betterfollicle development and ovulation
• Strengtheningof the uterine wall
• Boostedcirculation to the ovaries and uterus.
In the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility, a study was published involving 160 patients who were being treated with IVF (in vitro fertilization). The patients were divided into two equal groups. One group was administered with acupuncture prior to and after fertilized embryos were transferred to their uterus. The other group had embryo transfer and was not treated with acupuncture. The acupuncture group had a rate of pregnancy that was substantially higher than the non-acupuncture group rate of pregnancy. About 42.5% of the women in the acupuncture group or 34 of them became pregnant compared to only 26% or 21 women in the non-acupuncture group.
Although medical studies show women undergoing IVF who receive acupuncture greatly benefiting from it, women who chose not to get IVF treatment can still stand to gain from acupuncture, especially women suffering from unexplained infertility. These patients usually have a well-defined TCM diagnoses despite the fact that their infertility is deemed “unexplainable” by Western conventional Medicine. In TCM, the common underlying cause of infertility is Stagnant Liver Qi. Besides infertility, these patients may manifest symptoms of depression. Another common TCM diagnosis observed in infertility sufferers is Kidney Qi Deficiency. Kidney Qi deficient patients are usually sleep-deprived, overworked, and overstressed. Energetic disruptions such as these can negatively impact the capacity to get pregnant. Using stress reduction techniques and acupuncture, balance can be brought back in these patients, which can result in a healthy environment by which a pregnancy can be successfully initiated and developed.
In terms of risks, acupuncture can merely lead to infection and local bleeding. After pregnancy has begun, it is not recommended that you receive acupuncture, as it may stimulate certain acupointsthat can cause the uterus to contract which may lead to miscarriage. Compared to other fertility therapies, the cost of acupuncture treatment is usually low. The needles are extremely thin so even patients with a fear of needles can tolerate the treatment well.