Acupuncture in Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Fertility Clinic

As complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) becomes more accepted and widespread, people are increasingly turning to acupuncture either as a replacement or supplement to medical treatment for infertility. Recent scientific studies are revealing that acupuncture may, in fact, offer fertility benefits to women. One study discovered that treatment with electro-acupuncture induced ovulation in more than one third of patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Another more recent study found that acupuncture appears to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rates with patients undergoing assisted reproductive technologies. The data demonstrated that patients who received acupuncture treatments during in vitro fertilization (IVF) experienced higher pregnancy rates than those who did not (42.4% versus 26.3%).

Acupuncture appears to affect three areas critical to egg production and ovulation: two areas of the brain that control hormone production (the hypothalamus and pituitary glands) as well as the ovaries. “My guess is that acupuncture is changing the blood supply to the ovaries, possibly dilating the arteries and increasing blood flow, so that ultimately, the ovaries are receiving greater amounts of hormonal stimulation,” says Sandra Emmons, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health Sciences University in a Journal of Medical Acupuncture.  Acupuncture may also “boost” the uterine lining when it is too weak to sustain a pregnancy, a problem known to increase the risk of miscarriage.

At Tower we combine Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis with laboratory and imaging data of a conventional fertility work-up in developing an individualized plan to help our patients fulfill their dream of having a baby.

Reference: Emmons, SL, Patton PE. Acupuncture Treatment for Infertile Women Undergoing Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Medical Acupuncture; Spring/Summer 2000- Volume 12/ Number 2