Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after at least a year of frequent intercourse. It affects about 1 in 6 Australian couples of reproductive age. In Australia, 30% of the fertility problems lie with male partners, 30% in female partners and about 30% in both partners. The remaining 10% are considered unknown. (1)
Causes of Female Infertility
- Ovulation disorders: irregular ovulation or no ovulation at all resulting in PCOS, hypothalamic dysfunction, premature ovarian insufficiency and excessive prolactin.
- Poor egg quality
- Damage to fallopian tubes: caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Endometriosis: where parts of the uterine wall are deposited in the abdomen outside the uterus itself
- Uterine or cervical issues: fibroids, polyps, uterine abnormalities present from birth, cervical stenosis, and mucus problems in the cervix
- Unexplained infertility
Causes of Male Infertility
- Low sperm count or sperm abnormalities
More information for infertility: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/fertility
Acupuncture may support Western medical practitioners’ IVF fertility treatment in women by:
- Balancing your fertility hormones and regulating your menstrual cycle (5,9)
- Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs (2,5)
- Reducing stress and anxiety relating to the inability to conceive (4)
- Improving pregnancy rates when used in conjunction with IVF or IUI, (2,3,6,7,8)
Acupuncture may support fertility in men by:
- Lowering scrotal temperature (10)
- Increasing blood flow (13)
Improving sperm maturation (motility 11, quality 12)
In these cases, both acupuncture and IVF combined treatments may be able to lead to more improved results than assisted reproduction technique alone. (2,3,6,7,8)
Acupuncture and Herbs may support medical practitioner’s treatments throughout the IVF cycle
- Before (3 months prior to cycle) – for women, improve blood circulation and regulate hormones; for men, improve sperm quality & quantity. (5,9,10,11)
- During – increase the number of follicles and improve the quality of the uterine environment by relaxing uterine muscles & thickening uterine lining. (2,5)
- After (once pregnant) – prevent miscarriages and minimize symptoms common in the first trimester (14).
What You Can Expect on Your First Visit
During the first visit, Steven takes a detailed medical history related to infertility; reviews the details of your menstrual cycle and blood flow during menstruation; gains a thorough understanding of your goals; and examines your whole system. During this process, He often discovers many possible factors that can influence both conception and pregnancy problems that have not yet shown up as a symptom or subtle signs of imbalance that indicate future illness. He puts all these composites together and provides you with a clear personalized assessment and optimal treatment plan.
One of the main focuses of Steven’s treatment is to balance the mind and body, help his patients reclaim their lives and spirits, and lead them to improve their overall health and well-being.
1 Your Infertility, https://yourfertility.org.au/ in women. –click here [Accessed 06 May. 2018].
2 Littleton, J. (2004). Treatment of infertility with Chinese medicine. London: Churchill Livingston.
3 Lifang Liang (2003). Acupuncture and IVF. Boulder, USA: Blue Poppy Press
4 McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. https://www.acupuncture.org.au.-click here Accessed 14 May. 2018].
5 Anderson BJ, Haimovici F, Ginsburg ES, Schust DJ, Wayne PM, In vitro fertilization and acupuncture: clinical efficacy and mechanistic basis. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007
May-Jun;13(3):38-48-click here [Accessed 14 May,. 2018]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17515023– click here [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
6 Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and
meta-analysis. BMJ 2008;336(7643):545-549.-click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18258932 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
7 Zheng CH, Huang GY, Zhang MM, Wang W. Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Fert Steril. 2012;97(3): 599-611—click here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23814102) [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
8 Villahermosa DI, Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP. Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: A prospective randomised controlled clinical trial. Acupunct Med. 2013;31(2): 157-61-click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512550 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
9 Ming H et al, 2009 Electro acupuncture reduces uterine artery blood flow impedance in infertile women. Taiwan, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009; 48: 148-51-click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19574177,[Accessed 08 May. 2018].
10 Siterman S et al. Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature. Asian Journal of Andrology2009; 11: 200-8..—click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19122677 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
11 Dieterle S et al. A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Fertility and Sterility2009; 92: 1340-3. click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19394002 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
12 Pei J et al. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility 2005; 84: 141-7., Click here
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16009169 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
13 Komori M et al. Microcirculatory responses to acupuncture stimulation and phototherapy. Anesth Analg 2009; 108: 635-40. Click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151301 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].
14 Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial. Birth. 2002;29(1): 1-9., Click here
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11843784 [Accessed 08 May. 2018].