Acupuncture and Reproductive Health
Current statistics state that one in five couples
over the age of 30 have difficulty conceiving after one
year of trying. Many of these couples are turning to
acupuncture and Oriental medicine for a safe, effective
and natural solution to have a healthy baby.
Oriental medicine has a long history when it comes to
enhancing fertility for both men and women. In fact,
evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been
used to aid fertility can be found in early medical
literature dating back to 3AD.
Fertility treatments were first recorded by Zhang Zhong
Jing, a famous physician from the Han Dynasty, in his
discussion of diseases in women in the Jin Gui Yao
Lue or Essentials of the Golden Cabinet.
How Acupuncture Can Enhance Fertility
According to the principles of Oriental medicine, a
person's health is determined by the quality of Qi,
the vital life energy, and blood circulating through the
body. When Qi and blood are circulating properly, the
body is properly nourished and functioning optimally
which, in turn, enhances fertility.
Researchers have confirmed its benefit in the
1. Regulate menstrual cycle.
2. Improve sperm count and motility.
3. Reduce stress and anxiety associated with
4. Normalize hormone and endocrine systems.
5. Improve blood flow in the uterus.
6. Decrease chance of miscarriage.
7. Increase the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing
in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fertility treatments vary from person to person, but are
usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles
(twelve weeks). Treatments can include acupuncture,
customized herbal therapy, stress reduction and dietary
counseling. Treatments work alone but are an excellent
addition to any Western intervention.
Please call for more information of to schedule a
Acupuncture Increases IVF Success by 65%
Women undergoing IVF were
65 percent more likely to become pregnant when they
combined the procedure with acupuncture, a recent study
The remarkable success rate occurred across seven
acupuncture trials involving 1,366 women in a systematic
review and meta-analysis published in a February, 2008
issue of the British Medical Journal.
Acupuncture was delivered either just before or just
after embryo transfer – a step in the process of in
vitro fertilization (IVF) whereby one or several embryos
are placed into the uterus.
The research was carried out by scientists from the
University of Maryland in the United States and the VU
University of Amsterdam in Holland.
It is thought that acupuncture stimulates the
neurotransmitters that trigger the production of
gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, which controls the
menstrual cycle and a woman's ovulation.
Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate blood flow to
the uterus and boost the production of endogenous
opioids, inducing the body to relax.
Source: British Medical Journal, February 2008
Acupuncture Improves Sperm Quality
A study published in the
July 2005 issue of the journal Fertility and
Sterility found that acupuncture helped infertile
men by apparently helping improve sperm quality in their
In the research project, 28 men received acupuncture in
addition to traditional infertility treatments, while
another 12 men received only the traditional treatments.
All of the men were diagnosed with infertility of
Acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects
in the sperm of men who received it, although it had no
effect on other abnormalities, such as sperm immaturity
or premature death.
Previous studies have shown a link between acupuncture
and improved sperm production and motility.
Source: Fertility and Sterility, July 2005
In This Issue
- Acupuncture and Reproductive Health
- Acupuncture Increases IVF Success by 65%
- Acupuncture Improves Sperm Quality
- Foods for Fertility
Foods for Fertility
"Your body is like a garden... As in all gardens,
the seed we hope to plant in our bodies grows best
when we cultivate the ground and plant and nurture
the seed in harmony with the laws of nature. You
wouldn't put a tender plant in clay soil without
first tilling and amending the earth - at least not
if you wanted to give that plant its best start. You
wouldn't plant in the dead of winter, or in the dry
season without water, or in a sunless place.
Likewise, if we tend our bodies, minds, and spirits
with an awareness of the laws of nature, we improve
our chances of welcoming the gifts of Quan Yin, the
fertility goddess." Angela Wu, L.Ac., author of
According to Oriental medicine, the energy of the
Kidney system is important for reproduction and
fertility enhancement often starts with the Kidneys.
A good example of a food that nourishes the Kidneys
and promotes fertility is black beans.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
From an Eastern perspective, black beans are warming
in nature. They are thought to tonify the Kidney Qi
and nourish Yin and Blood.
From a Western perspective, black beans are an
excellent source of protein, folate, iron and fiber
and are rich in antioxidants.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Research published in the Journal of Agriculture
and Food Chemistry
indicates that black beans
are as rich in antioxidant compounds called
anthocyanins as grapes and cranberries, fruits long
considered antioxidant superstars.
When researchers analyzed different types of beans,
they found that, the darker the bean's seed coat,
the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram
for gram, black beans were found to have the most
antioxidant activity, followed in descending order
by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.
Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black
beans in this study is approximately 10 times that
found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and
comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of
grapes or cranberries.
Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food
Chemistry, November 2003