Getting Baby on Board:
Acupuncture May Help Couples Facing Infertility Challenges
For couples who are trying to start a family together, challenges relating to fertility, or infertility, among men and women can cause a lot of stress and heartache. Unable to conceive through traditional methods, many couples seek out alternative ways to get pregnant, including In Vitro Fertilization Pre-Embryo Transfer (IVF-PE). Although advances in medical technology over the last 3 decades have dramatically increased the possibility of achieving successful pregnancy through IVF-PE, currently only 1 out of approximately every 5 attempts is successful. Acupuncture, often combined with herbal treatments, has been used for centuries to treat some causes of infertility and recent studies have indicated that acupuncture may increase these chances for successful in vitro fertilization, resulting in pregnancy.
Raby Institute acupuncturist, Janice Scott Staron recently conducted research through Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Division of Reproductive Medicine to better understand the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on In Vitro Fertilization Pre-Embryo Transfer (IVF-PE). In the research study, test subjects were given either real acupuncture or sham (placebo) acupuncture immediately before and immediately following embryo transfer. Although official results are still pending, physicians involved commented on the relaxed nature of the patients who had received acupuncture treatments prior to implantation. The study was made possible by the efforts of Dr. Raby while she was Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Raby was responsible for finding the private funding for the research project, as well as desiging the research protocol and recruiting the Reproductive Endocrinologists who participated in the study.
Additional research conducted in Europe and North America spanning more than a decade reinforces positive correlations between acupuncture and increased pregnancy rates.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used to treat other types of fertility issues as well. Women attempting to conceive may undergo acupuncture treatments to increase blood flow to the reproductive system or to reduce anxiety (which can be a cause of infertility). Acupuncture may also treat some causes of male infertility, such as low sperm count.
He, who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.
- Arabian Proverb