Modern medical science suggests the causes of female infertility can be grouped into four major categories. These relate to egg production, physical blockages, embryo implantation and other factors which may lead to unexplained infertility. IVF therapy can overcome many of these causes of infertility by artificially modifying egg production, fertilising eggs in vitro, and ensuring delivery of one or more embryos into a hormonally-stimulated endometrium.
Each of the common causes of infertility can also be treated using acupuncture. Acupuncture is not contraindicated to IVF therapy because unlike drug based therapies, acupuncture has no co-interaction issues. Since the induction of IVF therapy, acupuncture treatment protocols have been continually refined. As a result, acupuncture has developed into an excellent adjunct therapy to IVF.
Problems in egg production
Acupuncture can be used to increase egg quality and the number of eggs. Fertility patients with problems in egg quality and egg number are recommended to seek acupuncture treatment as soon as possible. This will increase their chance of a favourable outcome.
Acupuncture is effective in assisting to clear blockages in the reproductive system. Though, when acupuncture is used as an adjunct to IVF therapy, there is little need for acupuncture to perform this task.
Embryo implantation problems
Acupuncture during menstruation encourages the flow of menstrual blood. This results in a clean endometrial wall creating better conditions to aid embryo implantation.
When fertility is unexplained there are numerous factors which may be the cause. Generally speaking, these are lifestyle issues and include: psychological and emotional factors; age; body weight; smoking; alcohol; caffeine intake; immunological abnormalities, borderline hormonal imbalances. Most of these can be treated by acupuncture.
Psychogenic causes (stress, worry, anxiety, emotion tension etc) of infertility are the most common within the classification of “unexplained causes”. Doctors are yet to determine the mechanism of how stress can affect reproduction. Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) at the Fertility and IVF Acupuncture Clinic is also an expert in treating infertility which is the result of psychogenic causes.