I don’t recall hearing of this option when my wife and I were enduring our own fertility challenges but it seems to be growing in popularity. But it is not new. It has actually been used to treat infertility for centuries.
Acupuncture is the practice of putting thin needles into certain areas of the body. The purpose is for pain management and to treat various health issues. No one knows the exact date or time when acupuncture first came to use but it’s usually credited as having been developed by the Chinese and is frequently used with herbal medicine.
“It’s been helping with fertility problems for years.”
The procedure is widely practiced in many countries such as Germany and Italy. Japan has educational institutes dedicated to teaching acupuncture. But did you know that there are practices here in the United States that can treat infertility with acupuncture?
If you’re not familiar with the procedure, sticking needles in parts of your body so that you resemble a porcupine may seem strange, but it’s not only legitimate, it’s been helping with fertility problems for years.
There are doctors who belong to a widely recognized medical academy who have studied the benefits of acupuncture and put them into practice helping couples with infertility. Acupuncture is considered an alternative medicine yet some insurance companies do pay for the procedures.
Dealing with infertility and undergoing treatments to alleviate its causes can raise the stress factor to an extremely high point. As the stress builds, it affects your entire body.
One belief is that by using acupuncture, the needles help the body to let go of stress and pain. It calms the inner self and it is widely recognized by the medical profession that stress does play a part in fertility.
” It may still be beneficial if started in conjunction with any other fertility therapy. “
Acupuncture also aids in the release of certain hormones. There are studies that show acupuncture helps the body to increase the feel good hormones, which in turn help relax the body, which in turn can foster a healthier you.
So when should acupuncture treatment begin? Optimally about 3 months prior to any treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). It has been recommended to receive acupuncture before and after embryo transfer. But this is not necessary. It may still be beneficial if started in conjunction with any other fertility therapy.
Clinical observations form the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medicine. Sometimes conception will happen when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used without traditional medical interventions.
It is recommended that you continue acupuncture treatment through week 12 to help prevent miscarriage.
Getting acupuncture treatments to improve fertility isn’t something that’s just for women either. When men opt to receive acupuncture treatments it could help to raise the sperm count.
Research conducted in the form of medical studies have shown an improved sperm productivity. In the studies, it was found that men who had acupuncture as part of their treatment for infertility had a marked improvement in their sperm versus the study group of men who did not have any acupuncture.
“Are there any side effects from acupuncture?”
Many people believe that acupuncture is painful. However, people who have chosen to treat their infertility with acupuncture have said that there is no pain, just a sensation of tingling in the area where the needle is inserted.
Are there any side effects from acupuncture? There are actually few or no side effects when using acupuncture to perform the same function as the drugs do. This is to stimulate the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of female infertility as well as male infertility.
If you’d like to give acupuncture a try but aren’t sure where to find a qualified acupuncturist, check with your local fertility clinic for a referral. Many acupuncturists work alongside fertility clinics to bring you the best possible care.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance? Insurance plans vary widely in their coverage. You would have to check with your provider prior to treatment to determine what, if any coverage you have. As well as the process for approval or reimbursement that you are eligible for.
If you have no insurance coverage for acupuncture treatment then you can expect to pay approximately $100 to $150 for you initial visit. This visit will be around 75 to 90 minutes, depending on the provider. Follow up appointments will be approximately $80 to $95 and last 50 to 60 minutes.
Qualified acupuncturists are licensed by the state in which they practice. Some states have a separate acupuncturist board where they can aid you in your search by listing links to qualified acupuncturists in your area.