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 Acupuncture for Fertility  
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Finding a Healthy Balance: Insights into Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine by . View all columns in series
Here is a small summary of the use of acupuncture for fertility issues from, October 2009. I was particularly struck by the comment on a study from the British Medical Journal showing nearly twice as many live births for IVF when acupuncture is added.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used in combination with conventional reproductive medical care or as a primary treatment approach. Acupuncture can be effective for women taking fertility drugs or reproductive technology techniques (such as IVF or IUI). Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can also be effective as a stand-alone approach to treat infertility for those not undergoing conventional medical treatment. Acupuncture helps to regulate hormonal activity, thus regulating menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy. A recent study from the British Medical Journal found that among women who received acupuncture and IVF, the pregnancy rates were 65% higher and the rates of live births were nearly twice as high than among women who received IVF with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture.

Acupuncture helps to reduce stress and decrease the hypersympathetic nervous system response. Studies have shown that high stress levels decrease the likelihood of conceiving. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate chemical changes within the uterine lining, thickening the endometrium, and preparing the uterus for implantation.

In men, acupuncture can improve sperm motility, volume and concentration as well as increase libido. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, optimum fertility enhancement would involve a course of treatments with the aim of nourishing the Kidney Essence and regulating the menstrual cycle as well as clearing any pathogens that may be interfering with the natural process of conception.

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 About The Author
Byron Russell, recently named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the top 3 acupuncturists in the Bay Area, is an acupuncturist licensed to practice in California, as well as being a nationally certified diplomate......moreByron Russell LAc
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