Acupuncture and Treatment of Infertility

Acupuncture & the Treatment of Infertility

It is estimated that about 16% of couples in Canada experience infertility, where infertility is defined as the lack of conception after a reasonable period of intercourse without contraception (one year for women under 35 years of age, and 6 months for women over 35).1 There can be many causes of female infertility, which include:

• Age (fertility rates decline after the age of 35)
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Uterine fibroids
• Blocked fallopian tubes
• Endometriosis
• Hormonal imbalances
• Early menopause

Acupuncture Can Stimulate Ovulation

Acupuncture can be an effective intervention for the treatment of infertility for many of these categories. It can help to overcome these barriers by stimulating ovulation², increasing uterine blood flow 3 4, and improve general menstrual health to improve fertility.Even in cases where the actual causes of the infertility can not be found (unexplained infertility), acupuncture can increase the chances of conception and carrying to term.

Acupuncture Can Improve Male Fertility

Infertility is not one sided, as men can also suffer from infertility. A recent study has shown that sperm count has significantly decreased  between 1973 and 2011.7 The main causes of male infertility include low sperm count, low sperm motility, and sperm deformities. Acupuncture can aid in male infertility by increasing the percentage of viable sperm, and increasing sperm motility.6 8 

It is important to find out what is the cause of infertility, so that proper treatment can be sought.  Both partners need to be assessed to make sure that all issues are being addressed. After all, if both the man and the woman have infertility issues, but only one of them receives treatment, the couple will still not become pregnant.

Book a consultation to find out if acupuncture can help you with infertility.

Our Acupuncturist – Michael Amador McFarlane:

Michael Amador McFarlane is a registered acupuncturist with the College & Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta.  Trained in Canada and China, Michael provides treatments in both traditional Chinese and orthopedic acupuncture.  Traditional Chinese needles are applied to specific meridian or organ system points, to stimulate healing.  In orthopedic acupuncture needles are applied to muscle motor points to alleviate pain and tension.  He also offers Cupping Therapy, in which glass or silicone cups are attached to the body with suction.  Some of the most common issues Michael addresses includes, but is not limited to: paininsomnia, infertility, headaches/migraines, anxiety and gastrointestinal problems.

References

1 https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/fertility/fertility.html
2 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7b9a/1ba80e03cf041207adbc82508b432a7ca4c7.pdf
3 Huang, D., Huang, G., Lu, F. et al. Chin. J. Integr. Med. (2011) 17: 386. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-011-0611-8
4 Stener-Victorin, E., Waldenström, U., Andersson, S.A. and Wikland, M. (1996) Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum. Reprod. , 11, 1314–1317.
5 Cochrane, S., Smith, C. A., Possamai-Inesedy, A., & Bensoussan, A. (2014). Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health. International Journal of Women’s Health, 6, 313–325. http://
doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S38969
6 S. Sherman, F. Eltes, V. Wolfson, N. Zabludovsky & B. Bartoov (1997) Effect of Acupuncture on Sperm Parameters of Males Suffering from Subfertility Related to Low Sperm Quality, Archives of Andrology, 39:2, 155-161, DOI: 10.3109/01485019708987914
7 https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmx022
8 http://www.acustl.com/files/Men_and_Fertility2.pdf