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Acupuncture used to assist Fertility

INFERTILITY    – A brief review. By Kate Curtis Acupuncturist/Midwife.

It is suggested that if a couple who are under 35 have been trying for over a year to conceive, and have not had success that they should ask for help. If over 35, then it is advisable to seek help after 6 months.

It is useful to know the age of the mother’s menopause, as this can give a rough guide to when fertility can be seriously compromised. If the mother had early menopause, before 45 years, then it may be safe to presume that the similer time may happen. As a rule of thumb, deduct 10 years from menopausal age of mother, to indicate the waining of vibrant fertility.

Many factors can cause a woman to have difficulty conceiving but if these factors are overcome, and a womans body is restored to health, conception may x occur more easily.


Female infertility.

Hormonal Disorders

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), in which small egg follicles are trapped within the ovary instead of being released at ovulation.
  • Premature Menopause, in which the eggs become depleted before the age of 40. Usually subtract 10 years from the mother’s menopausal age to find the approximate age in which menopause may begin.
  • Disorders of the thyroid or pituitary glands.
  • Hypogonadal hypogonadism which follows excessive exercise or weight loss (eg young gymnasts)
  • Damaged or blocked fallopian Tubes, ( which prevent the egg and sperm from meeting to fertilise). May be due to infections such as Chlamydia, or candida or other sexually  transmitted infection abdominal surgery with internal scarring (adhesions), which block the tubes.
  • Uterine polyp or bicornuate uterus (divided by a septum) requiring surgery.
  • Retroverted Uterus, can make it hardaer for the sperm to move up to the cervix.
  • Endometriosis, in which the tissue from the lining of the uterus invades and damages neighbouring reproductive tissues.

Male Infertility

  • Low sperm count . Normally men produce at least 20 million sperm per ml of semen.
  • Poor sperm motility. At least 50%, should show good motility.
  • Poor shape ( morphology) At least 15% should show normal shape, so they can permeate the cell wall of the outer layer of the egg.
  • Non production of sperm (due to testicular obstruction eg) or total obstruction due to ejaculatory problems or impotence.
  • Previous Vasectomy.



Acupuncture can help women undergoing fertility treatment conceive with up to 50 %, greater success, than those not receiving treatment.

In 2002 “Fertility and Sterility” journal, reported this on a study by German researchers, investigating the effects of acupuncture on women undergoing IVF.

  • Acupuncture points are used to “relax the Uterus” according to the principles of TCM.
  • Meridians are selected to create “better blood flow” and “more energy” to the Uterus. The uterus and the ovaries need good blood flow to function correctly. The emdometruim must be thick enough for the embedding and the development of the fetus.
  • Ear Points are used to stabilize the endocrine system.
  • Points are used to promote general relaxation and wellbeing. To calm the nervous system.
  • Points are used to improve blood flow to Pelvic Organs. Acupuncture reduces the constriction in the uterine arteries, increasing the blood flow.
  • Acupuncture is the only known technique to directly increase Vascular Response.
  • Points are used to regulate the Hypothalamic pituitary ovarian axis.
  • Points are used to prepare for IVF, and embryo transfer. Acupuncture helps to regulate the endocrine system and improve the receptivity of the uterus.
  • Treatment is done pre and post empbryo transfer, in particular.
  • It is also done to prepare the woman for pregnancy. It can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle, enhancing the receptivity of the uterus, and the quality of the mucus.
  • It may also be suggested that the partner, also be treated at some stage.


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