Acupuncture and alternative medicine is enormously popular among patients. At the same time there is much debate among medical professionals as to its true clinical effectiveness.
Advocates say that acupuncture can be effective in:Increasing blood flow to the uterus
Reducing the side effects of hormone treatments
Strengthening the immune system
Increasing sperm count and sperm motility
Relieving stress; stress is shown to inhibit fertility
Predicting ovulation by regulating the menstrual cycle
Decreasing the chances of a miscarriage
Improving the success rate of IVF treatment
Using a thin sterile needle inserted through the skin, acupuncture, a form of medicine that originated in China more than 4000 years ago, attempts to manipulate the flow of energy through the body.
Chinese medical theory holds that when the balance of our minds and bodies become disturbed, we don't function at optimal levels. When we are balanced, our organs function ideally, we sleep restfully, and we resist disease. Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances and eliminate symptoms of illness. When we are most healthy, it follows that our chances of conceiving are at their highest.
Patients describe the sensation of acupuncture as usually painless. The experience of having an acupuncture needle inserted into the skin is much different than the use of needles in Western medicine. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin – roughly the size of a human hair compared to a needle for injections or drawing blood. Patients often report that they don't even feel the needle going in. Once the acupuncture needles are in place, patients often report a state of deep relaxation.
Other forms of alternative medicine are popular with some patients experiencing infertility issues. In mind and body therapy, patients learn to relax using deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. Abdominal massage stimulates uterine blood flow and hydrotherapy, which uses water to support the body to relieve aches and pains, are also popular with some patients.
We recommend that you discuss alternative medicine and acupuncture with your physician as a supplement to your current fertility treatment. For interested patients, we suggest considering Acupuncture Northwest or Abundant Spring, due to their experience and strong interest in women's health and infertility.
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