Should you consider acupuncture for infertility?
When you want nothing more than to have a baby, you’re willing to try just about anything, including trying different sex positions and drinking “fertility smoothies.” While science might not support these recommendations, some forms of complementary medicine do have evidence backing them. One example is acupuncture for infertility. Our Las Vegas fertility doctors are here to break down what you need to know about this supplemental treatment.
What is acupuncture, and how does it work?
Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine. It involves placing thin, sterile needles at different points on the body. The first recorded incidence of this form of complementary medicine occurred in China about 2,000 years ago. Today, traditional Chinese acupuncture has become quite popular in the United States.
The idea behind acupuncture is that energy moves through the body using channels or meridians. When an acupuncturist places needles on specific points on certain meridians, it can help change the way the body functions.
How can acupuncture for infertility help you?
Proponents of acupuncture recommend it to help support patients with various fertility challenges. Some examples include endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and issues with egg supply and sperm quality.
Acupuncture for infertility may also help relieve the symptoms of certain fertility medications, such as bloating and nausea, and promote relaxation.
So, does the evidence support these claims? Some medical studies have found that acupuncture can help treat fertility issues, but others haven’t found such a clear link. That being said, some patients who visit our Las Vegas fertility doctors pursue this form of complementary medicine while receiving fertility treatments. Keep in mind that our fertility clinic doesn’t offer acupuncture, but we can refer you to a fertility acupuncturist.
What should you know if you want to pursue acupuncture during fertility treatment?
First, you should let your fertility doctor know that you will be pursuing acupuncture for infertility. This is also true if you’re pursuing any other forms of complementary medicine. Our Las Vegas fertility doctors need to know about your medications and treatments. This information helps them ensure that you don’t have any adverse interactions when combining different treatments.
Once you get the green light from your doctor, you can schedule your first acupuncture appointment. Fertility acupuncturists often recommend that you start acupuncture three months before starting treatments like IUI or IVF. However, it may still be beneficial to start acupuncture along with your fertility treatments.
During your first acupuncture appointment, your acupuncturist will ask you questions about your lifestyle and fertility concerns. He or she may also perform a short exam that involves looking at your tongue and feeling your pulse. Next, your acupuncturist will insert the needles. Once they are in place, you’ll relax with them in for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Most people don’t experience pain when the needles are in, but you may notice a mild, dull ache or a pinch.
Some acupuncturists will also recommend or prescribe oral supplements for fertility. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting or continuing any fertility treatment with these supplements. Some of these supplements and herbs can interact with your fertility treatment medications.
Contact us if you have questions about how fertility treatments with our Las Vegas fertility doctors can work with complementary medicine.