Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that can be traced back for at least 4000 years. Acupuncture is based on the theory that disruption of energy flow (Qi) along pathways known as meridians can result in disease. Acupuncture involves the placement of thin metallic needles in the skin along certain points that connect the meridians. It has been used over the centuries to treat various ailments and more recently has been used to treat fertility problems.
Studies on the use of acupuncture to improve fertility have had mixed results. Some studies do suggest a modest benefit, especially with IVF. The mechanism by which acupuncture may improve fertility is unknown. It has been postulated that acupuncture may induce favorable hormonal changes in the uterus and ovaries, it may improve uterine blood flow or it may help relax the uterus at the time of embryo transfer. We suggest that our patients consider acupuncture as an adjuvant to their fertility treatment, especially when doing IVF. If you decide to do acupuncture, we suggest you use a licensed acupuncturist with experience in treating patients with fertility problems.