Acupuncture For Fertility, When to Get It?

Ryan's picture
When I first started my Acupuncture practice many years ago everyone had heard that Acupuncture was good for pain. Now, many years later it seems to be better known for fertility.  Between fertility clinics, internet and research articles it's getting a lot of media attention the past few years. I find one of the biggest questions I'm hearing now is "acupuncture is great for fertility but when do I get it?"
Unfortunately there is not a simple answer to this question as each patient has different needs. Just as fertility drugs are tailored to each patients condition, acupuncture needs to be prescribed in each situation.  
As a general idea its best to see an Acupuncturist early in your fertility journey. This gives your practitioner time to diagnose and suggest a treatment plan for you and if you need to get acupuncture. When patients come to see me early in their fertility journey there often is simple lifestyle adjustments or timing that can be tweaked to greatly improve their chances of conceiving.  
There are many research articles showing benefit to acupuncture with IVF. Many of these studies show that even having just one treatment on the day of transfer will offer improved chances of pregnancy. Another study shows how having regular acupuncture for the 6 weeks before having egg retrieval improves hormone levels and IVF outcomes. There are now studies showing how patients undergoing a TCM approach to fertility (called Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine) can improve the chances of live birth rates. This type of whole systems approach had better results than using IVF alone as well as using acupuncture with IVF. 
Acupuncture helps improve fertility even when trying to conceive naturally. If you and your partner have only recently been trying to conceive it's not too early to seek advice. We often have people come in trying to regulate their cycles or decrease period pain even before trying to conceive. Using the whole systems approach and applying herbal medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2 fold. We need to do a deep investigation to our specific needs and create a treatment plan.  
Acupuncture is effective for male fertility too! So much is focused on female fertility that most guys get left on the side lines. Approximately 40% of infertility will have a male factor diagnosis. That's almost 1/2 of all couples having difficulty conceiving. 
If you have been looking for support for your reproductive health, even if you are not trying to conceive give us a call. We offer free 15 minute phone consultations to help answer your questions and clarify our approach to infertility and reproductive health.  
If you are interested in Acupuncture for fertility but have been unsure when to get it, the answer is soon! If you have any questions don't hesitate to just e-mail us or give us a call.
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM 
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