Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine that some individuals use to treat a wide range of ailments. An acupuncturist uses tiny, thin needles to promote blood flow in specific areas of the body. Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after a year of trying to conceive in a sexually active couple. It affects 8-12% of couples in the world, and in recent times, the cases are increasing rapidly. Both male and female problems are responsible for 20% of the cases. Abnormal sperm, low sperm motility, and low sperm count are all issues that can affect men.
Moreover, common problems in women include genetic factors, long-term steroid usage, aging, obesity, stress, testicular inflammation, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and other disorders, AIDS, cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalance, poor egg quality, and other issues that can affect women. Age, obesity, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol, stress, infections, and other conditions are all risk factors and causes.
In both men and women, acupuncture has shown to be effective in treating infertility. By enhancing sperm quality and ovary function and harmonizing the endocrine system and hormones, acupuncture can be deemed a successful treatment in restoring fertility in patients.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that includes inserting very tiny needles into specific places on the body. Around 2,000 years ago in China, the technique was first documented, although most experts estimate it originated between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. Acupuncture insertion techniques and the kind, style, and size of needles used have all evolved as the practice extended throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is the most frequent kind of acupuncture worldwide.
How might acupuncture help in Infertility?
Acupuncture practitioners have suggested treatment for a range of fertility-related medical issues. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian reserve, and sperm quality concerns are among them. It may also assist in alleviating some of the adverse effects of reproductive medications (including bloating and nausea). Acupuncture has been proven to help people relax. Many medical researchers have confirmed the effectiveness of acupuncture while addressing specific reproductive issues; others have found it to be ineffective.
Both a male and a female component may play their part in nearly 35 % of couples experiencing reproductive problems. Doctors find male factors alone in around 8% of infertility cases in couples actively attempting to conceive.
According to experts of acupuncture, it can help in the treatment of infertility by
- Stress relieving
- Hormone balancing
- Improving blood flow to the reproductive organs
Presently there is no solid proof that acupuncture improves fertility or it doesn’t. According to a study published in 2017, there was insufficient evidence to support acupuncture to treat infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
When we talk about the use of acupuncture for male reproductive difficulties, 2016 findings revealed that scientists conducted inappropriate trials or came to no meaningful results. In a 2018 research, the benefits of acupuncture on live births among women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) were compared to the effects of sham acupuncture.
Safety of Acupuncture
According to the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health, acupuncture is a safe method provided that professionals utilize hygienic, suitable equipment. Acupuncture needles are classified as medical devices by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to these requirements, the needles must be sterile, nontoxic, and labelled for single use.
When contemplating acupuncture, search for a practitioner who has received adequate training and holds a license. The need for licensing may differ from country to country.