Acupuncture for Fertility— Frequently Asked Questions
Integrated Medicine Fertility Treatments in Atlanta
Many people pursuing infertility treatment find themselves researching
medical practices they have never considered before. Most people are familiar
with acupuncture, but its use as an accompanying treatment to fertility
services is lesser known. Here you can find answers to some of the questions
many patients have when they first start considering this treatment. We
encourage you to
contact us if you would like to speak with our acupuncturist directly.
What is Acupuncture?
Oriental Medicine is the oldest, literate medicine in the world, with over
2,500 years of recorded clinical writings. Acupuncture is an essential
part of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture subtlety balances the
flow of energy in the body, promoting the body's own natural healing
power and maintaining or re-establishing physical and emotional health.
Acupuncture is performed by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific
acupuncture points on the body to treat particular diseases, including
those that stimulate, balance, or otherwise affect fertility. The National
Institute of Health has found acupuncture to be helpful treating pain
and stress-related illnesses, as well as digestive disease, neurological
symptoms, endocrine system disorders, menopause symptoms and menstrual problems.
How can Acupuncture help enhance fertility?
Research indicates that the benefits of acupuncture for fertility can have
numerous positive effects.
- Increases rates of pregnancy and live births
- Regulate menstrual cycles
- Regulate hormones to help produce a larger number of follicles during IVF
- Increase blood flow to the reproductive organs and increase the thickness
of the uterine lining
- Improve sperm quality and quantity
- Help to relieve the side effects of drugs commonly used during IUI and
- Reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and promote deep relaxation
- Strengthen the immune system
- Reduce risk of early miscarriage
- Help to prevent uterine contractions after embryo transfer
How does Acupuncture work?
The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy that existed in all life
forms and processes. In Chinese, this energy is called "Qi".
In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease,
these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific
pathways called channels and collaterals (jingluo). Each pathway is associated
with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is
believed to arise when an imbalance (either deficiency or excess) manifests
in the channels and collaterals and/or their related organ systems.
Modern research shows that acupuncture leads to the release of various
neurotransmitters and hormones that affect most of the body's systems
(central nervous system, digestion, respiratory and cardiovascular systems,
etc). The exact mechanism for this is not yet known, but we can observe
the effects which include changes in:
- Blood flow
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
- Reproductive function
- And more
Research has suggested that acupuncture can help to regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian
axis, the processing center for the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
What can I expect from treatment?
Most people report a feeling of relaxation and well-being during and after
the treatment. Studies have shown that conception rates can be improved
with the use of acupuncture for fertility success. As in any form of healing,
a patient's attitude, diet, and life-style will affect the outcome
of a course of treatment. The number of treatments you will need will
depend on your overall health, your body's response to acupuncture
and/or Western reproductive treatments, and the nature and duration of
Is Acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture needles are very thin and flexible, much smaller than those
used for traditional injections given by your doctor. In most cases, insertion
by a skilled acupuncturist is performed with minimal discomfort. During
acupuncture treatment, patients may feel a sensation called "arrival
of Qi" (deqi). Patients describe this sensation as a dull ache, distention,
pressure, tingling, or warmth. Acupuncture is a relaxing experience and
should any needle cause discomfort, it will be adjusted or removed.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Yes. When performed by a qualified Licensed Acupuncturist, like our Atlanta
Acupuncturist Mark A. Lewinter, L.Ac., acupuncture and related techniques
have proven to be extremely safe. Only single-use, sterile, disposable
needles are used. Complications due to acupuncture are very rare; serious
side-effects are less than one per 10,000 treatments.
Will Fertility acupuncture be covered by my insurance?
Insurance billing for infertility acupuncture treatments is not available
at this time. The billing office will issue statements for interested
patients to submit to insurance carriers for possible reimbursement. The
online overview of our
infertility insurance program describes fertility treatment insurance coverage for other services
and treatments in more detail.