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Utilizing Houston Acupuncture Services To Improve Infertility
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How Acupuncture For Infertility Can Help a Couple’s Chances of Conceiving

Infertility affects between 10 and 15 percent of couples in the U.S., and many of them exhaust every possible medical option to improve their conception chances. Infertility can be a complex issue with causes that are difficult to identify. For some, the cause of infertility is a mix of physical and psychological factors, so fertility-boosting therapies may target both.

Acupuncture and other eastern medical treatments are an ideal support therapy in this role. With regular acupuncture sessions, some women improve their chances of conceiving. What’s most encouraging is that there are sound medical reasons behind acupuncture’s efficacy for infertility.

What Makes Acupuncture for Infertility an Effective Support Therapy?

Researchers are still exploring the link between acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal therapy and infertility, but there is good reason to believe that such a link exists. That’s because fertility acupuncture has been shown to help with several conditions that can make it more difficult to get pregnant. Those conditions include:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is characterized by the presence of multiple “cysts” in the ovaries, which are actually immature eggs. It’s unknown what causes the body to release these immature eggs, but it appears to be driven by abnormally high levels of male hormones like androgen. Genetics and inflammation are believed to be behind this hormonal imbalance.

A larger number of women experience PCOS, with something close to 70 percent not receiving a formal diagnosis. In the large majority of women with PCOS, though, the presence of androgens interferes with proper egg formation and fertilization.

Acupuncture, though, has been shown to help PCOS. In a large systematic review of acupuncture trials (randomized and controlled), acupuncture was shown to improve ovulation and menstruation in women suffering from PCOS. Further, the researchers noted an improvement in hormonal balance, which was also of benefit to infertile patients.

Achieving hormonal balance is a primary reason for seeking acupuncture. Many studies targeting a wide variety of hormone-related conditions have shown that acupuncture can have a modest, but statistically significant effect on restoring proper hormone levels.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign growths that appear on the uterus and can affect fertility from a mechanical standpoint. Specifically, fibroids can block the fallopian tubes and make it difficult for eggs to attach to the uterine wall.

Acupuncture is a proven treatment for uterine fibroids, as it can reduce the pain associated with fibroids and regulate blood flow into reproductive organs. This can help shrink the fibroids and reduce their presence in reproductive organs. That essentially gives an egg more space to properly bond to the uterus.

Erectile Dysfunction

Sometimes, the causes of infertility are male-related. Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common and can make it difficult for couples to get the conception process started. Erectile dysfunction, like many forms of infertility, may be caused by physical and psychological issues.

Research into acupuncture and erectile dysfunction shows that treatment can help with both. In particular, acupuncture shows great promise in men suffering from psychological ED. In a 2003 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, 70 percent of patients who received ED-specified acupuncture achieved positive results, while those who received alternative acupuncture treatments had much less promising results.

Anxiety or Depression

Acupuncture is a popular support therapy for patients experiencing anxiety or depression. A study that included 151 patients and provided acupuncture for eight weeks found that those who received acupuncture achieved a strong positive response to their depressive symptoms, compared to the control group.

Another study showed that acupuncture was as effective as some depression medications in improving symptoms. Acupuncture’s stress-relieving potential has also shown promising results in anxiety studies.

Anxiety and depression can undermine attempts to become pregnant, so acupuncture can provide the psychological support needed to improve conception chances.

There is some research that shows that acupuncture services can improve the chances of getting pregnant in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. It’s possible that this is due to acupuncture’s stress-relieving effects, as anxiety is likely elevated among women using in vitro to get pregnant.

Is Acupuncture Safe for Women Trying to Get Pregnant?

Acupuncture and moxibustion are safe for the vast majority of patients, including women trying to conceive. During treatment, acupuncture needles are lightly inserted into the skin, at a depth shallow enough to prevent puncturing blood vessels. A licensed Houston acupuncturist will only rely on single-use needles to ensure their cleanliness, minimizing the chances of infection if a needle is pushed deep enough to cause minor bleeding. Prior to inserting the needles, the acupuncturist will swab the skin with alcohol to also ensure cleanliness.

There are extremely few serious complications associated with acupuncture and research backs this up. The most common adverse effects are minor bleeding, pain and bruising at the treatment site. These effects rarely last for long and are not considered to be pregnancy-threatening or of particular concern to people with infertility problems.

Moxibustion involves the application of heat near the body and is not associated with significant adverse effects to pregnant women or patients with infertility issues.

If you do have a bleeding disorder, though, talk to your Houston acupuncturist about it beforehand. And if you’re taking fertility medications, alert your practitioner if they are considering herbal therapies.

Concerned About Safety or Cleanliness? See a Licensed Houston Acupuncturist

Acupuncture, moxibustion and herbal therapy are considered generally safe for patients, including patients who are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant. However, this safety can only be guaranteed if you’re seeing a licensed Houston acupuncturist. Licensed acupuncturists are trained in the use of proper needles, sanitation methods and acupuncture points. This training enables acupuncturists to deliver safe and comfortable acupuncture.

Further, some practices combine the best of western and eastern medicine. These practices are licensed to provide both eastern medicine and western, allopathic medicine. For couples with fertility issues, a doctor experienced in both areas can provide a comprehensive treatment approach for infertility. These treatments may include medications and herbal treatments, and it’s important that these are considered with each other to prevent adverse reactions. A doctor experienced in both medical fields can develop an individualized treatment plan that minimizes the likelihood of those adverse effects.

For couples attempting to conceive, infertility is a difficult diagnosis to handle. There is hope, though, because medicine is always improving on its infertility treatment options, which now include a modality that’s been around for thousands of years – acupuncture.

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