As most of us know, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of relieving various ailments and imbalances in the body. Among its many applications, acupuncture for fertility is often cited as one of the effective solutions for this common female complaint.
With many women finding that stress and modern lifestyles are impacting fertility negatively, they need to resort to some form of treatment to redress the situation. A natural and holistic treatment such as acupuncture for fertility can be appealing because it is thought to have no side effects; however the question does remain – how effective is acupuncture for treating infertility?
How acupuncture is used
This treatment can be used as a standalone or alternative treatment which is used instead of mainstream infertility treatments.
On the other hand it can also be used in conjunction or in addition to other fertility treatments. It is thought to work by regulating ovulation in women facilitating a pregnancy.
In acupuncture there are thin needles that are inserted at specific points in the body as per the defined meridians of the body. This is thought to free up the Qi (Chi) or the energy within the body, thereby curing ailments.
It is thought that acupuncture for fertility works by regulating all the systems within the body and redressing imbalances of all sorts. It is also thought that acupuncture, when used as a complementary therapy in addition to other treatments, can aid relaxation and lower stress, thereby making it more likely that mainstream fertility treatments work.
Acupuncture may also assist in pregnancies by bringing certain hormonal imbalances into control, proponents of the treatment say.
Is acupuncture for fertility really effective?
The medical opinions on this factor are divided, with some clinicians claiming that there is no scientific evidence that acupuncture works. While it is true that there is no scientific or anatomical evidence of the existence of the Qi or meridians that are a central concept in acupuncture, studies and anecdotal evidence as to the efficacy of this natural treatment do exist.
In the most, it is common problems such as pain management and nausea that acupuncture is seen to be most effective in addressing.
One study showed that when women underwent in vitro fertilization treatments for their infertility, when they also underwent acupuncture, this was seen to increase chances of their carrying a pregnancy successfully to term and giving birth. Some clinicians however argue that this could simply be a placebo effect while proponents of acupuncture say that it is more than that.
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
As long as a woman takes treatment from a trained practitioner, side effects or complications are quite unlikely. However some studies have found that that acupuncture during early pregnancy should be avoided since it could be actually harmful.
In conclusion we may say that it is likely that acupuncture for fertility is effective for some women suffering from infertility and that there is no harm in trying it since side effects are usually minimal. However is probably most effective as a complementary treatment rather than a standalone one.