Treatment

Infertility can be a daunting challenge for many individuals and couples, impacting not only physical health but also emotional well-being. As a healthcare practitioner deeply invested in finding effective and holistic solutions to infertility, let’s dive in!

In this article, we’ll delve into the profound benefits of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of female and male infertility, supported by compelling studies.

Introduction

Infertility affects about 15% of the population, necessitating a comprehensive and inclusive approach to treatment. While conventional methods such as IUI and IVF have their merits, complementary therapies like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer promising avenues for those seeking fertility solutions, especially those where IUI and/or IVF has consistently failed, or worse; they worked only to end in miscarriage.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Fertility Treatment

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have gained recognition for their therapeutic fertility benefits. Studies indicate that acupuncture and herbs can influence fertility by regulating hormonal balance, improving blood flow to reproductive organs, and enhancing egg, lining, and sperm quality. These things cannot be accomplished in an IVF clinic.

Mechanisms of Action

The precise mechanisms behind acupuncture and herbal medicine in fertility treatment involve the hyperstimulation of blood to the reproductive organs. Blood is a ‘messenger’ responsible for transmitting FSH/LH from your brain to your ovaries or testes. Further, blood transmits oxygen, nutrients, and electrolytes to the ovaries/lining/testes, creating an environment where egg and sperm quality can be improved. The most important takeaway is that acupuncture and herbal medicine are the only therapies to improve egg, lining, and sperm quality.

Scientific Backing from Studies

A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine highlighted the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in improving pregnancy rates and live birth rates among couples undergoing fertility treatment.

Critical Considerations for Combined Therapy

While the benefits are compelling, it’s essential to emphasize the importance of individualized treatment plans. Factors such as the specific cause of infertility, the individual’s health history, and lifestyle considerations must be carefully considered .

Male Infertility Acupuncture and Herbs

Addressing male reproductive issues is a crucial aspect of fertility treatment. 30% to 40% of infertility is due to ‘male factor’ issues. Studies have shown that acupuncture and herbs improve sperm count, morphology, motility, and volume and reduce sperm DNA fragmentation.

Collaboration with Conventional Medicine

Integrating complementary therapies with traditional fertility treatments provides a comprehensive and holistic approach. Collaborative efforts between reproductive endocrinologists and practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine enhance the overall efficacy of fertility treatments.

Cost-Effectiveness

If you had to do fewer IVF’s to achieve success, it would cost you less to conceive. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can get you there quicker.

Studies

Acupuncture in Fertility Treatment:

“Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical trial.”
Authors: Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K.
Journal: Fertility and Sterility, 2002;77(4):721–4.

Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Holistic Approach:

“Chinese herbal medicine for female infertility: An updated meta-analysis.”
Authors: Qian L, Yuansheng X, Jianping Z, et al.
Journal: Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2019;42:116–123.

Combining Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine:

Study: “Clinical pregnancy rates in IVF are improved after acupuncture: a prospective randomized controlled trial.”
Authors: Smith C, Coyle M, Norman RJ.
Journal: Human Reproduction, 2006;21(11): 2663–2668.

Male Infertility and Acupuncture:

“Effects of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality.”

Authors: Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, et al.
Journal: Archives of Andrology, 1997;39(2):155–61.

Female Infertility and Chinese Herbal Medicine:

“A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of acupuncture and moxibustion for female infertility.”
Authors: Cheong YC, Dix S, Hung Yu Ng E, Ledger WL, Farquhar C.
Journal: European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2016;8(6):791–800.

Collaboration with Conventional Medicine:

“The integration of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine.”
Authors: Lu A, Jiang M, Zhang C, Chan K.
Journal: European Review, 2014;22(Suppl1):S2-S4.

These studies provide a scientific foundation for the efficacy and safety of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in fertility treatment. It’s essential to note that ongoing research contributes to the evolving landscape of complementary therapies in reproductive health.

Hena Shomali  L.Ac  ND.

 

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