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Video:Acupuncture for Infertility

with Jill Blakeway

Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility in conjunction with mainstream western medicine. Watch this About.com video to learn more about how acupuncture can help women become pregnant and treat infertility.See Transcript

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Transcript:Acupuncture for Infertility

I'm Jill Blakeway. I'm an acupuncturist at the YinOva Center in New York City and the co-author of a book about fertility called Making Babies. And, today we're going to talk about using acupuncture to treat infertility.

What is Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the use of tiny, hair-like needles at specific points on the body. It's been used for over 2,000 years to enhance fertility. And here at my center, the YinOva Center, my team and I use it everyday to bring blood to the ovaries to promote a good follicle, to enhance uterine blood flow to provide a good uterine lining, to reduce inflammation, to balance hormones, and to off-set the way stress affects reproductive hormones.

Acupuncture for Fertility

We see a broad variety of fertility patients. We see people right at the beginning of their fertility journey who just want to enhance their fertility and just want a little boot camp and get ready to have a baby. And, we see people who have suffered from infertility. The people who do best with us are the people who have issues regarding blood flow or inflammation or hormone imbalance.

The things we find hard to treat with just acupuncture are structural problems - malplaced uterus, uterine polyps, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts - that kind of thing although Chinese herbs can be quite helpful for those too.

Acupuncture Treatment

We usually see people about three to six months before they want to have a baby. Three months for a healthy couple is a great amount of time to prepare. Six months if you've had some problems. Most of our patients see us once a week. The first time they see us, we do a lot of talking. We do a lot of diagnosis within Chinese medicine. We take pulse. We look at the tongue. We ask what seem like unusual questions. In Chinese medicine, we try to get a holistic view of the body and then we give them an acupuncture treatment.

The acupuncture lasts probably 20 to 25 minutes and they usually have between 10 - 15 needles in them. The needles are pretty painless and most people find it very relaxing. They usually go to sleep. We sometimes prescribe herbs as a way of adding to the treatment.

Success and Risk with Acupuncture

Acupuncture practice by a licensed and trained acupuncture professional is generally very safe. The risks are very small. We use single- use, sterile needles that are disposed of after the treatment. The risk of infection is also very small and we needle very shallowly. So, the risk of organ puncture is also negligible. It should be used in conjunction with Western medicine for serious disorders and it shouldn't necessarily be used on its own. A good acupuncturist will work with your doctor to get you the best of both possible worlds.

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