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How Chinese acupuncture can treat infertility

Updated on February 27, 2013

The most ancient and effective treatment for infertility

Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese philosophy that balance in the body’s energy flow - known as "chi" or “qi” is needed in order to stay healthy. Acupuncture is often combined with herbal medicine to treat numerous fertility disorders in both men and women and has been used in the Orient for the past three to four thousand years, dating back to the Sui Dynasty (589 CE) in China. Chinese medicine enhances fertility by strengthening and balancing organ function and the production of hormones, which are essential components of fertility.

Based on the particular complaint, different point combinations are stimulated using acupuncture needles. By stimulating these points, energy flow is rebalanced and the natural healing ability can take place. In infertility cases, the needles are inserted into energy points associated with the reproductive organs, to improve energy flow and balance in those areas.

Approximately 6 to 20 needles will be inserted and retained in a selection of points for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes per treatment. Most patients feel a sense of deep relaxation during and after treatment. Some patients can feel extremely energized and an incredible pain relief immediately after the treatment. One of the main benefits of acupuncture for fertility, is that it helps to increase blood flow to the endometrium, facilitating a thick, rich lining.

Most women who choose acupuncture do it together with traditional infertility treatments, but many others hope that acupuncture might improve their chances after everything else has failed.

Studies have shown that regularly undergoing acupuncture therapy, performed by a professional therapist for a minimum of two to three months, dramatically increased a couple’s chances of successfully achieving a healthy pregnancy. Continuing treatment during the first trimester of pregnancy can help to prevent complications developing during gestation. Acupuncture is also used to induce labor, but this treatment is completely different to the one used to aid fertility.

Certain symptoms of infertility that acupuncture is useful in treating include:

  • an elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • repeated miscarriage
  • unexplained infertility
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Endometriosis

Acupuncture is also used to promote healing and hormonal regulation in prostatitis, chronic urinary bladder infection, uterine fibroids, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, an-ovulation, premature menopause, and menopausal symptoms.

My experience with acupuncture:
As soon as I was told I had a problem with my fertility, I found an acupuncturist and started going to about 3 sessions a week. I had been for acupuncture before, for neck pain after a car accident and had found that it really worked and I was willing to try anything that would help me to achieve my goal of having a baby.

I tried many different acupuncturists, both in South Africa and in the Netherlands, and my experience was quite different with all of them.

My first acupuncturist was a Chinese doctor, who put me in a room with other patients and inserted needles all over my body - including in my head and ovaries. He was not the most gentle person, but I felt that at least something was being done and that my ovaries were being triggered into action! Psychological probably, but it did start my acupuncture journey to healing my fertility.

I was then referred to another Chinese doctor through a friend. He was much more gentle and I was treated in a private room, with tranquil Chinese music. He used fewer needles and also prescribed some herbs, which I took in tablet form to help unblock my liver "qi" - which was apparently also causing some interference with my ovaries. I really preferred this gentler approach.

I moved to the Netherlands and found another Chinese acupuncturist at a huge Chinese medical center in the middle of the red light district in Amsterdam! He too prescribed herbs in a tablet form and was quite gentle with the needles. It was not the most relaxing venue though, as the center was so busy, with constant chatter in Chinese outside my room! This doctor gave me some moxa sticks to use at home and showed me where to hold them at various points on my body, including my knees and shins.

Another friend then referred me to a Dutch acupuncturist who took about 4 hours to treat me. She also did some cupping on my back, causing round bruises, which disappeared after a few days. I was not sure I had the time to sit through such long sessions, so it was lucky that I then found a South African acupuncturist.

This acupuncturist had been living in the Netherlands for many years, specialises in acupuncture for fertility and pregnancy and is also a qualified midwife. She included reflexology and moxibustion in my treatments and really knew everything about infertility.
After a few weeks of treatments with her, I was pregnant! I think it was a combination of all the acupuncture sessions that I had been going to, which helped me to fall pregnant. In total, I went to between one to three sessions per week for a period of about four months before my positive pregnancy test.

In addition to these treatments, I also went for one acupuncture session prior to giving birth to our son. At around 37 weeks of pregnancy, the midwife I had been seeing recommended I go for some acupuncture sessions in order to “prepare my body for the birth”. Two days after my treatment, I went into labor! My body reacted to the acupuncture and cupping much quicker than I had expected!

Visit for more tips on how to increase fertility, rejuvenate your body and reverse infertility and fall pregnant with a healthy baby and for more reading on infertility.


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    • sonfollowers profile image

      sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA

      My wife had 5 miscarriages and is officially labeled with the term "recurrent pregnancy loss." This is very different from classic infertility because infertility really focuses on getting women pregnant. Still, she was advised t0 try accupuncture. At the time, we figured we'd try anything. So, we did. Last week baby finally arrived (10 lbs., 8 oz.). Who knows how much accupuncture had an affect. Still, it certainly is interesting!

    • profile image

      acupuncture websites 6 years ago

      Great Hub Bee Erikson. Very Informative.

      Yes, Acupunture helps improve conditions causing infertility. In fact patients undergoing a course of acupuncture eventually get pregnant.