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How acupuncture may help if you’re trying to get pregnant

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment which involves inserting small needles into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body. Considered an alternative medicine, acupuncture is used to treat many different types of ailments and concerns (e.g., stress reduction, chronic pain, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, tinnitus, insomnia). More recently, acupuncture has become a popular adjunct to fertility treatments – in particular IVF. Acupuncture has also been used to treat other common reproductive conditions among women (e.g. irregular menstrual cycles) and men (e.g. low sperm counts).

The findings of the available research on the effectiveness of acupuncture in enhancing fertility or treating infertility are mixed. However, recent research indicates that psychological distress, and in particular depression, may impair fertility. Since acupuncture has been found to be helpful in reducing stress, acupuncture may be useful in reducing the stress associated with trying to get pregnant, or in coping with the considerable stresses of fertility treatments.

If you are considering acupuncture or other alternative medical treatments, your doctor or fertility specialist may be able to recommend a licensed acupuncturist in your area.

Read more about acupuncture here.

For further resources on stress-reduction and holistic approaches to managing your fertility, see Dr. Alice Domar’s work, here.

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