Does Acupuncture to Get Pregnant Work?

Acupuncture to get pregnant may work, but studies are inconclusive about how beneficial it is. Learn more in the following article.
Does Acupuncture to Get Pregnant Work?

Last update: 08 November, 2022

Although it’s a technique that’s related to pain relief, there are articles that associate the use of acupuncture with pregnancy. But is resorting to acupuncture to get pregnant really effective? In this article, we’ll tell you what this alternative therapy is about and what benefits it provides.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a variant of alternative medicine originating in China. It uses metal needles that are gently inserted into the skin in those areas of the body where it’s believed that the flow of energy or Qi can be stimulated. There are different types of acupuncture, such as the following:

  • Traditional Chinese acupuncture
  • Auricular acupuncture
  • Moxibustion
  • Trigger point acupuncture

Each variant uses unique techniques. In addition, it’s also used as a stand-alone method, along with standard medical treatments or herbal drugs.

It should be noted that both the absence of adverse effects and the successful outcome of the treatment will depend on the training of the practitioner. Therefore, a qualified professional should be chosen, who has the ability to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and to perform the technique safely. This way, it’s a safe practice with very few contraindications and complications.

Acupuncture points to get pregnant

The points used in the treatment of infertility are selected in order to help women improve circulation and energy flow to the reproductive organs. In addition, the aim is to eliminate the blockages that are caused in the flow.

In turn, those points that are associated with nervousness, stress problems, neck pain, and pain in the neck region are stimulated. Therefore, it’s that you go to a professional acupuncture practitioner to ensure proper technique. In addition, the personal physician should be informed so that they know what treatment is being performed.

However, there are certain acupuncture points that should be omitted, as they involve risks in the induction of labor and stimulation of uterine contractions.

You may be interested in: 7 Vitamins You Should Take to Get Pregnant

A doctor applying acupuncture needles to a woman's back.
Acupuncture for fertility seeks to stimulate points that are associated with nervousness, stress, and pain in the neck region.

What is infertility?

Infertility is the inability to conceive in a sexually active couple who tried to become pregnant during the period of one year. In fact, 20% of cases are due to both female and male factors. The causes may be due to prolonged use of steroids, genetic factors, age, stress, obesity, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and other diseases. In particular, in women they include the following:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Thyroid problems
  • Poor egg quality
  • Hormonal imbalance

The benefits of acupuncture

Pregnancy plans and infertility can be major stressors on the body, which could negatively affect the outcomes of seeking parenthood. There’s even research that acupuncture during pregnancy, in addition to the ability to alleviate morning sickness, helps prevent or reduce the following problems:

  • Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe vomiting and nausea)
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Pain in the pelvis, back, and neck
  • Headache
  • Preeclampsia
  • Indigestion and constipation

Acupuncture also decreases anxiety and improves the emotional state that women often experience with fertility treatments. In turn, this Chinese technique can help normalize prolactin and cortisol levels, which are elevated during times of stress. In fact, chronic untreated stress increases the chances of infertility.

Does acupuncture to get pregnant actually work?

A woman with accupunture needles on her forehead recieving a massage to the temples.
One of the main objectives of acupuncture to get pregnant is to eliminate stress. Also, this technique helps regulate hormonal disturbances and increases blood flow.

This practice can provide certain benefits to women suffering from infertility, especially when used in conjunction with conventional medicine. Therefore, it can help with the following:

  • Increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
  • Regulating hormonal disturbances
  • Relieve stress

Acupuncture has shown significant results in both women and men. Consequently, it’s considered a therapeutic option for restoring fertility in women, balancing hormones and the endocrine system, and improving sperm quality.

While there’s not a great deal of evidence to support the use of acupuncture to get pregnant, a study by Medicine found slight evidence of improvements in ovulation and menstruation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

In contrast, a systematic review found no evidence that this technique leads to improved outcomes for women undergoing in vitro fertilization.

Acupuncture as a complementary therapy

Acupuncture may be helpful when it comes to getting pregnant. However, studies are inconclusive about how beneficial it is as a treatment for that goal. Therefore, it’s always advisable to talk to your healthcare provider if you’re considering starting acupuncture. In fact, your practitioner may tell you about other options to consider if you wish to become pregnant.

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  • Infertility in men and women. 2018 [Internet]. Disponible en: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/165748
  • Jo J, Lee YJ, Lee H. Acupuncture for polycystic ovarian syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jun;96(23):e7066. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000007066. PMID: 28591042; PMCID: PMC5466220.
  • Manheimer, E., van der Windt, D., Cheng, K., Stafford, K., Liu, J., Tierney, J., Lao, L., Berman, B. M., Langenberg, P., & Bouter, L. M. (2013). The effects of acupuncture on rates of clinical pregnancy among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Human reproduction update19(6), 696–713. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmt026
  • Latendresse, Gwen. “La interacción entre el estrés crónico y el embarazo: parto prematuro desde una perspectiva bioconductual”. Revista de partería y salud de la mujer vol. 54,1 (2009): 8-17. doi: 10.1016 / j.jmwh.2008.08.001

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