In the May 2011 issue of Whole Living magazine there is an interesting article called “Fertile Ground” that discusses the pros and cons of various natural fertility treatment options. The article addresses the concerns of many women who want to conceive in a more natural way without having to rely on hormone injections and IVF treatments.
The author briefly addresses some of the more popular natural approaches to fertility including acupuncture, diet, massage, Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs, and mind-body treatments. The article also briefly touches on the research related to each of these different therapies.
It is interesting to note that about one quarter of infertile couples utilize acupuncture to assist in conception. In many cases women are receiving acupuncture both before and after an IVF embryo transfer in order to improve the success rate. The author cites a German study that showed the success rate of IVF with acupuncture was 43% while the IVF success rate without acupuncture was only 26%.
The author also noted that her experience with acupuncture left her with a throbbing ache at each of the needle insertion sites. Unfortunately, this is a clear indication that she went to an acupuncturist who feels that deep needling with a strong sensation works best. As any well trained, traditional acupuncturist would tell you this is not usually the case.
When it comes to acupuncture for fertility, gentle needling with little or no sensation, combined with moxibustion is the most effective way to enhance blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. Sometimes less is much better, and it is very important that couples seek out well trained practitioners who will work with them as partners on their journey toward parenthood.