A grid of thin gold needles (its a fairly non-invasive painless procedure) are inserted into any of 400 energy points to unblock one or several of 20 channels or pathways.
Acupuncture has been practiced in Asia for over 3,000 years and in Europe since it was introduced there in the 1600's, but has only gained medical acceptance in the U.
over the last two decades.
This is mainly because there is no definitive proof to explain how it works.
Similarly the link between acupuncture and infertility, as far as a healing medium is concerned, cannot be proven in a laboratory.
Evidence of its efficacy in treating infertility exists, but the reason cannot be proven empirically.
Studies have shown however, that it increases the success rate of conceiving especially when used in conjunction with IVF.
Also, when practiced by a trained acupuncturist, risks and side effects are almost minimal, as opposed to the many possible side effects of western medication.
Acupuncture and Infertility: Acupuncture has successfully treated nicotine addiction, nausea, pain and stress management and many other conditions and acupuncture and infertility have been linked by the evidence that acupuncture treatment can be benefit infertility sufferers, most noticeably as an adjunct to allopathic treatment.
On its own, it is sometimes used with a combination of Chinese herbs and this has been found to be effective in the treatment of irregular ovulation, an imbalance of hormones, low sperm production and other functional infertility problems.
Acupuncture balances and benefits the functioning of the whole body, improves physical and emotional health and even reduces the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle - all this contributes to increased fertility.
Be sure to tell your infertility specialist of the other methods of treatment that you are currently using.
Once you have found a certified acupuncturist who understands the relationship between acupuncture and infertility, your course of treatment will probably take several months, both prior to conceiving and past the first trimester for best results.
As far as acupuncture is concerned, more is better than less as the effects are cumulative.
Acupuncture and IVF: This combination of East and West has been shown to be very beneficial in improving the chances of conception and reducing the number of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, hence a renewed interest in the relationship between acupuncture and infertility.
Typically acupuncture (As well as traditional Chinese herbs if indicated) will start several months before donor egg implantation or artificial insemination.
It has been shown to improve the lining of the endometrium (uterine lining) by improving blood supply and thus improve the odds for conception.
Throughout the often rigorous procedure of IVF treatment, it is also a welcome aid in stress relief for both partners.
Other things on your to do list should be: to improve your diet, start a programme of gentle exercise, look at vitamins and supplements and find a method of relaxation that works for you.
The best and safest option is for you to find a certified acupuncturist who has experience in treating infertility and pregnant patients.
org is a good site to start looking for licensed practitioners.