Infertility in both men and women could be due to various reasons. Studies show that, 40% of infertility is due to problems related to male health, 40% due to female health and rest is unexplained. Acupuncture plays an important role in treating infertility in following ways:
-- Overcoming Stress : Stress is one of the major hindrance to infertility in both men and women. When stress arises, a hormone called cortisol is released in the blood, which leads to hindrance of various other hormones, including male and female sex hormones. This causing infertility. Acupuncture acts by curbing this hormone, thereby enhancing the chances of conception.
It also enhances the production of endorphins, which are feel-good hormones released in the body and good for maintaining a healthy reproductive cycle.
-- Improving ovarian function : Acupuncture at specific points near/on abdominal area and uterus enhance the blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, helping overcome anovulation (no egg released by the ovary). When the blood flow is enhanced, the ovaries function normally by releasing the eggs into the uterus, thus increasing the chances of conception.
Taking into consideration the latest infertility treatments like IVF, which use Clomid for producing multiple eggs, this process is comparatively less effective, since only single egg is released through natural process.
-- Improving endometrial thickness: The increased blood flow to uterus also increases the lining of endometrium, which further enhances the chance of implantation (Attaching of fertilized egg to uterus wall), thus achieving successful pregnancy. Acupuncture also plays an important role in carrying pregnancy till term.
However, there are some conditions where Acupuncture may not be apt to be considered and they are:
1. Structural disorientation/damage of uterus or ovaries causing infertility, like fibroids
2. Tubal blockage
3. Age above 35 years
Acupuncture along with certain herbal medicines can also bring in a lot of positive effects. However, each treatment should be done after informing your gynaecologist/obstetrician, giving them an idea on the steps you are following. That way, even they would be predictive on the regime to be followed and further steps to be taken.