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Fertility and Acupuncture

How does fertility and acupuncture improve your chances for a successful IVF cycle?

In the last few years many fertility centers across the country have combined traditional infertility treatments and acupuncture with success. One study, completed by doctors at Cornell University and published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, tracked how acupuncture may improve a women’s chances of conceiving, regulate hormones, and improve the health of the uterine lining.

What is acupuncture?
The use of acupuncture for improving fertility and overall health has been used for centuries, with the first records of acupuncture showing up in hieroglyphs and pictographs dating back to the Shang Dynasty between 1600-1100 BC. Acupuncture is the practice of placing ultra-thin (usually 1/5000th of an inch) sterilized needles into determined acupuncture points. When needled, these points can help regulate how your body functions, including helping to regulate an under- or over-functioning thyroid. Typically, needles are inserted to depths of 1/8 to 1 inch depending on the location of the body.

Who performs acupuncture?
The state of Connecticut has stringent licensing policies and requires acupuncturists to meet specific guidelines regarding program completion and didactic and clinical training. Before meeting with an acupuncturist, we recommend verifying their experience. Additionally, one of our Park Avenue Fertility nurses or receptionists would be happy to provide referrals for any of our health and wellness recommendations.

Does acupuncture improve fertility treatments?
While no study has proven that acupuncture can improve fertility treatments, many studies have found evidence that the use of acupuncture with assisted reproduction like in vitro fertilization treatments can aid in conception. Acupuncture is unable to address issues such as tubal adhesions resulting from pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis, however, patients may still benefit from improved ovarian and follicular function associated with acupuncture treatments.

Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture should not hurt. Due to the thinness and placement of the needles, if patients feel anything at all they may feel the sensation of being touched with the tip of a pencil.

How long/often should I have acupuncture treatments?
Acupuncture treatments are unique to each patient and circumstance. Some patients may find relief from pain or stress after just one treatment, while others may require 5 to 6 treatments to achieve optimal results. Acupuncture is typically safe to continue after conception, although it is recommended that you visit an acupuncturist that specializes in treating fertility disorders.

During fertility treatments patients have access to many different therapies and methods for improving their assisted reproduction experience. With such a wealth of information available it can sometimes be difficult to know what supplementary treatment options provide real benefits, and which ones are less helpful.

Our office is dedicated to providing the most current, cutting-edge infertility treatment options available. If you are interested in learning more about options like treatment for recurrent miscarriages, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or surrogacy at our Connecticut fertility center, please call us at 855-901-BABY (2229) to make an appointment with Dr. Levi.