Acupuncture and Fertility: How Does it Work?

Infertility is an issue that affects both men and women. According to the CDC, about 6% of married women 15-44 struggle to get pregnant after one year trying. 12% of women in the same age bracket experience difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of their marital status. 

Men also struggle with infertility, as they are solely responsible for 20-30% of infertility cases, and play a role in 50% of infertility reports. 

Science has played a role in aiding people and couples struggling with infertility. There are also homeopathic remedies that can boost fertility naturally. Some couples start with traditional solutions, such as acupuncture.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that involves inserting thin needles into the body. This therapy works based on life energy and the idea that any disease or complication is due to a disruption in the energy flow. 

When a patient goes in for an acupuncture session, the expert uses 365 thin needles in various parts of the body known as acupuncture points. Think of the needles as pine needles rather than a painful needle or shot. Every one of the needles lightly touches the skin’s surface without penetrating the arteries or veins. 

Acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years. The therapy has grown in popularity in the United States in recent years. Many of its advocates use it as an alternative approach to conventional treatment for various health conditions like:

  • Pain treatment
  • Stress management
  • Chemotherapy-induced illness
  • Infertility
  • And more

Does Acupuncture Really Increase Fertility?

One practical use of acupuncture is in the treatment of infertility. The therapy works by helping the body balance hormones. It also relieves stress, which can contribute to low fertility.

Acupuncture boosts blood flow to the reproductive organs, which may increase your chances of getting pregnant. The research on the effectiveness of acupuncture is inconclusive, with some studies claiming that it has little or no benefit. However, many other studies show that acupuncture leads to significant and positive results. 

Treatment for infertility and the process of trying to get pregnant can be stressful. Chronic stress can negatively impact pregnancy, and acupuncture is a way to relieve stress. 

The procedure itself is safe, and some infertility clinics have licensed acupuncturists on-staff should their clients opt for this service. 

How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work? 

Here’s what you can expect from a pro-fertility acupuncture visit:

  • The needles are sterilized before use and disposed of after use. 
  • The needles are like strands of hair and are inserted either just under the skin or a little deeper (to the muscle tissue). 
  • People who have gone through the process say that it feels a little tingly at first. Some drift off to sleep during the procedure, whereas others feel a dull headache. Overall, the procedure is not painful. 
  • The therapy works on the idea of the mind-body connection. Sometimes a disruption in this connection may be contributing to infertility — for instance, a general imbalance triggered by emotional distress. 

One of the most common questions people ask is where the needles go when receiving acupuncture for infertility. Here are just a few fertility acupuncture points for women:

Acupuncture PointRough Location
Ren 3 and 4In the abdomen
ZingongAt the ovaries 
Ren 12Between the belly button and the sternum
St 30Below the umbilicus and lateral

For men, experts may utilize the following acupuncture points:

Acupuncture PointRough Location
LV8The side of the knee joint
SP6Inside the leg over the inner ankle bone
Stomach 36Between the kneecap and shin bones
CV6Three-finger width below the belly button

There are dozens of other pressure points that acupuncturists will use to boost male and female fertility. 

How to Schedule Acupuncture Services for Infertility 

One in five couples opts for acupuncture services to complement their infertility treatment. You can find experienced acupuncturists and other fertility clinics near you.To learn more about more proven fertility treatments that may be right for you, check out this complete guide to fertility treatments. In today’s day and age, there are both natural and medical treatments that can make it possible to expand your family.