INFERTILITY TREATMENT: ACUPUNCTURE IS AN EFFECTIVE OPTION IN WACO, TEXAS
“I would like to personally endorse Kristen Horner as an extremely knowledgeable practitioner in the area of women’s health. Kristen performed an intensive one-on-one internship with me addressing women’s reproductive health. In addition to her knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine in treating women’s physical issues, she also embodies a depth of compassion in dealing with the mental and emotional difficulties women may experience in their own healing process. She is a true healer.”– Randine Lewis, Ph.D., L.Ac., author of The Infertility Cure
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of conditions. One of the most popular uses of acupuncture is for the treatment of infertility. Acupuncture can be used to treat both male and female infertility and has been shown to be effective in increasing the chances of conception. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of acupuncture for infertility and how it can be used as a complementary treatment for couples trying to conceive.
Chinese medicine also offers proven benefits for couples seeking pregnancy, including:
- Improved ovarian function and production of better quality eggs.
- Increased blood flow to the uterus and increased thickness of the uterine lining.
- Regulation of hormones.
- Prevention of uterine contractions during early pregnancy.
- Decreased chance of miscarriage.
- Improvement of quantity and quality of sperm.
- Regulation of the immune response.
- Induction of ovulation and regulation of the menstrual cycle.
- Relaxation for the patient and reduction of stress.
- Elimination of underlying inflammation that may impair fertility.
- Increased quantity and quality of cervical mucus.
My colleague Dr. Attilio D’Alberto has compiled an excellent summary of the current research regarding acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for infertility.
How Does Acupuncture Help with Infertility?
One of the main ways that acupuncture enhances fertility is by regulating hormones. Hormonal imbalances can contribute to infertility in both men and women. Acupuncture can help to regulate hormone levels by stimulating the nervous system and releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers. This can improve the function of the ovaries and testes and increase the production of estrogen and progesterone.
Improving Blood Flow
Acupuncture can also improve blood flow to the reproductive organs. This increased blood flow can help to nourish the eggs and sperm and improve their quality. It can also help to increase the thickness of the uterine lining, making it more receptive to implantation. Improved blood flow can also help to reduce inflammation, which can interfere with fertility.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on fertility. Acupuncture can help to reduce stress and anxiety by stimulating the release of endorphins and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This can help to create a relaxed state in the body, which is optimal for fertility.
Supporting Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Acupuncture can also be used as a complementary therapy for couples undergoing assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Studies have shown that acupuncture can improve the success rates of ART by increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and reducing stress and anxiety.
What Does the Research Say?
A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology found that acupuncture can increase the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are both important for ovulation. The study involved 30 women with infertility who received acupuncture treatment for 30 minutes twice a week for five weeks. The researchers found that acupuncture increased the production of FSH and LH, which can help stimulate ovulation and improve the chances of conception.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion found that acupuncture can improve sperm motility and quality in men with infertility. The study involved 64 men with infertility who received acupuncture treatment twice a week for 10 weeks. The researchers found that acupuncture improved sperm motility and quality, which can increase the chances of conception.
A meta-analysis published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture can improve pregnancy rates in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). The analysis included 24 studies involving 5,807 couples who received acupuncture as a complementary therapy during their IVF treatment. The researchers found that acupuncture increased the pregnancy rate by 65%, compared to couples who received IVF alone.
A study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine found that acupuncture can reduce stress and anxiety in women undergoing IVF. The study involved 60 women who received acupuncture treatment before and after their IVF procedures. The researchers found that acupuncture significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels in the women, which can improve the chances of conception.
Acupuncture Treatment for Infertility
Acupuncture treatment for infertility typically involves weekly sessions over several months. The exact treatment plan will depend on the individual’s specific condition and needs. During an acupuncture session, the practitioner will insert needles into specific acupoints on the body. The needles are left in place for 30-45 minutes while the patient relaxes. The treatment is generally painless, although some patients may experience a slight tingling or sensation at the site of the needle insertion.
Detailed answers to frequently asked questions about acupuncture can be found here.
What to Expect During an Acupuncture Session
During an acupuncture session, your acupuncturist will conduct a detailed exam, will make a diagnosis, and then will insert thin needles into specific points on your body. You may feel a slight prick or tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but acupuncture is generally a comfortable experience. Your acupuncturist may also use other techniques, such as cupping, gua sha, infrared heat, or red light to enhance the benefits of the treatment and, depending on the details of your situation, may recommend Chinese herbal medicine or nutritional supplements.
Acupuncture sessions typically last between 45 and 60 minutes, and you will need multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Your acupuncturist will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.
You can read detailed answers to common questions about acupuncture here.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner. The needles used in acupuncture are sterile and disposable, and the risk of infection or other complications is extremely low.
Finding a Qualified Acupuncturist
If you are interested in trying acupuncture to treat your infertility, it is important to find a qualified practitioner. Look for someone who is licensed and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
Licensed Acupuncturist in Waco, Texas
If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help you get pregnant and are located in the central Texas area, our expert acupuncturist can help you. With over 20 years of clinical experience, she has helped thousands of patients in Waco, Texas and the surrounding areas to conceive and give birth to health babies. Contact us today — we are happy to answer your questions and would be honored to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients.
Comments from Patients
“Kristen is the epitome of grace and light. I have suffered for 5 1/2 years from infertility. I started seeing Kristen weekly, a little before we began IVF (our 3rd round of infertility treatments, each prior round unsuccessful). We just found out we are PREGNANT! I’m forever grateful to her and what’s she done to heal my body and calm my mind. Thank you, Kristen for your part in giving us the gift of life!”– K.L.
“There are not enough words I can say about Kristen and what she has done for me. I initially thought I could never do acupuncture because I am absolutely terrified of needles. After three infertility treatments (2 IUIs and 1 IVF), I asked my doctor and nurse what supplements they thought would help increase my chances of the next round being successful. That’s when they suggested acupuncture before the next round of IVF. They stated that’s the only proven thing to help with success rates. That’s when I found Kristen. I began seeing Kristen in March 2018. I was extremely nervous going in because I didn’t know what to expect. Kristen was very welcoming and comforting and let me know she would be able to help me. After 6 months of acupuncture and taking herbs, we were finally able to say that we will be having a little boy this summer and we owe it all to Kristen. Not only did she help me get my weird, messed up body back to normal, but she helped me in so many ways (mentally, emotionally, etc.) I to this day say that Kristen has been my saving grace and we owe so much to her. She helped us finally get the family we have dreamed of for years. I can not recommend her enough for infertility issues! She’s AMAZING!”– K.C.
“After five years of trying to get pregnant, my husband and I had nothing to lose, so I called Kristen to try acupuncture. Within 3 months of starting treatment I was pregnant! Not only was my body in better condition, but my mind and emotions were, too. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I was amazed that after five years of infertility, including much stress and many expenses at other doctors, within three months using acupuncture with Kristen, I was pregnant. Whatever she did worked and I am so grateful.”-A.A. (baby girl born 11/2006)
“My experience working with Kristen Horner to treat my infertility was very positive as well as beneficial — I truly believe that her treatments helped me get pregnant. I was very impressed with her vast knowledge of both Eastern and Western medicine, as well as her willingness to integrate both viewpoints and to work with my OB/GYN and his treatment plan.”-B.M. (baby girl born 5/2007)
“After many months of struggling with fertility drugs and depression, I decided to give acupuncture a try and called Kristen on my doctor’s recommendation. Within a few weeks of beginning treatment I felt healthier, slept better, and felt more like myself again. After only a month of working with Kristen, I became pregnant and am now anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first child! Kristen was a tremendous source of support and knowledge for me and I feel extremely fortunate to have met her. I highly recommend her and believe that God has given her an incredible capacity to help others.”– N.P. (baby girl born 3/2007)
“I have suffered from severe endometriosis for many years, but I noticed improvements in my condition after my first session with Kristen. With ongoing acupuncture and herbal medicine, I have continued to improve and how have the most pain-free periods of my life. I am so happy I no longer have to plan my life around my period!”– C.S.
“I did a lot of research beforehand and I am so happy that I decided to call Kristen! I have had problems with fibromyalgia which was also causing my anxiety and depression, IBS and PMS with severe cramping. I have tried medications (all had uncomfortable side effects to say the least), chiropractors and was even contemplating surgery. Within a month I had complete relief from my PMS and my IBS. I have been going to see Kristen now for 3 ½ months, and my fibromyalgia pain is no longer bothering me. My anxiety and depression are much better as well. I can finally sleep better at night and I have a lot more energy during my day, which is very important so I can keep up with my toddler. Something that I was not intending to fix with acupuncture, my bunion on my left foot has completely gone away as well! I am so glad I did not spend the money on a podiatrist before going to see Kristen. I also take herbal supplements that have made a tremendous difference overall. Even my 2 year old daughter takes the herbal allergy medicine which has no side effects like her regular prescription drug does.”– D.E.
“What led me to try acupuncture was over a year of chronic knee pain, diagnosed as Iliotibial Band Syndrome. I had done months of physical therapy, gotten two MRI’s, seen two orthopedic surgeons—none of whom were able to figure out the source of my knee pain. Kristen listened to my concerns and helped me understand my body more holistically. She linked my knee pain to other problems I have struggled with, such as chronic constipation and an unexplained absent menstrual cycle. With several weeks of Chinese herbs and acupuncture my digestion is now functioning normally, my period has returned after an absence of 4 years, and my knee has greatly improved and is on it’s way to full recovery. I am very thankful for Kristen’s help and willingness to see me and my body as a whole.”– E.V.
Acupuncture can be an effective complementary treatment for couples struggling with infertility. It can help to regulate hormones, improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, and reduce stress and anxiety. If you are considering acupuncture as a treatment for infertility, it is important to work with a qualified and experienced practitioner. Acupuncture should be used in conjunction with other fertility treatments, such as IVF or intrauterine insemination (IUI), for the best chance of success.
- Chen BY. Acupuncture normalizes dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1997;22(2):97-108. PMID: 9227688.
- Zhang M, Huang G, Lu F, et al. Effect of acupuncture on sperm quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:5179847. doi: 10.1155/2018/5179847. PMID: 29681976; PMCID: PMC5852756.
- Shuai Z, Lian F, Zhou Q, et al. Acupuncture for infertility: is it an effective therapy? Chin Med J (Engl). 2014;127(11):2246-2250. PMID: 24824269.
- Balk J, Catov J, Horn B, et al. The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 201