When you look for ways to increase your fertility, you’re probably looking to the latest scientific advances. But some believe you should also look to the past. Acupuncture is an ancient form of alternative medicine that involves inserting very thin needles into the body. It is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine, and it is considered by some to be an effective therapy for pain, arthritis, and other conditions. In some cases, acupuncture is used to deliver a tiny electric current through the needles, a process called electroacupuncture.
There has been some debate as to whether or not this ancient practice can help couples conceive. The question stems from the fact that science has a hard time studying the effects of acupuncture and other traditional medicines. Studies can only control for results through the use of “sham” acupuncture, which inserts needles into areas believed to be inert but which may still have untested effects. Some research shows evidence of its proponents’ claims, but only for small groups or under conditions that leave questions still to be answered.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
When it comes to acupuncture, though, experts agree that at the very least it is harmless when performed correctly. Those who support its health benefits say that because it is safe, anyone should feel free to at least try it and see if it works for them. It’s with that mindset that we’re approaching the topic of acupuncture and conception.
Acupuncture, Ovulation, and Improving Fertility
The effects of acupuncture on fertility are a topic of interest among scientists. While science hasn’t zeroed in on how it helps, there is some evidence that it may have an impact for couples trying to become pregnant. For example, some studies suggest that electroacupuncture may help in the treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, by regulating nervous system abnormalities associated with the condition.
Other studies suggest that acupuncture may improve results from in vitro fertilization treatments – as much as doubling the rate of pregnancy for study participants. While the exact mechanism for how it might achieve these increases is unclear, it does present an interesting avenue for further research.
Finally, acupuncture is reputed to lower stress. In fact, scientists conducting tests on rats have even shown the effects of acupuncture on a key stress-related pathway common to humans and other mammals. Stress is a known factor that impacts fertility, so relieving stress can certainly help when trying to conceive.
If you are looking for ways to increase your chance of getting pregnant, acupuncture may be an alternative you could consider to address specific causes of infertility or subfertility. It is a safe treatment that has a long history among the largest populations in the world.
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