ZocdocAnswersCan acupuncture help fertility?

Question

Can acupuncture help fertility?

My partner and I are trying to have a child, but we haven't had any luck. I'm trying a bunch of natural fertility treatments, and I heard that acupuncture works. Is there any evidence to support acupuncture as a fertility enhancer?

Answer

There are many natural and alternative treatments out there for fertility and your OBGYN will be the best physician to direct this question to. Some OBGYNs have subspecialized in fertility and can give you up-to-date advise on how best to work up any problems couples are having with conception. Even though acupuncture has been around for more than a thousand years, it still lacks well controlled scientific studies to prove what it actually does and does not help with. Clearly it is very useful for some ailments (hence why its survived so long), but there is no hard evidence that it could help with fertility, and no empirical reason why it could help. There are multiple reasons for why a couple cannot conceive and about 2/3 are female causes and 1/3 are male causes. Using simple blood tests, fertility specialists can rule out or rule in the most common causes of infertility before any imaging or other testing is needed. Simultaneously, your partner can be tested to rule out any other causes of infertility (low sperm count etc). Keep in mind that most specialists will want you to have unprotected sex for at least a year without successful conception before undergoing any testing. On a final note, I want to add that their are many natural treatments out there for may different diseases, not just fertility. Please, please remember, that natural does NOT equal safe. There are hundreds sometimes thousands of chemicals in herbal medicines most of which we do not understand. Please consult with your primary care doctor before starting any of these remedies. I wish you the best of luck.

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