Few hardships reach more people or kill more hope than infertility. Over 1 million women in the US struggle with infertility[1], and treatments such as in-vitro fertilization can cost more than $20,000 per attempt[2]. What few people realize is that there is an option more affordable, accessible, and natural: acupuncture.

Sound dubious? Of course, some causes of infertility cannot becured by acupuncture or similar remedies. But many women with unexplainedinfertility have found success in receiving acupuncture treatments[3],and you or your loved one could be another! If you’re not convinced, let usdebunk some of the most common myths about acupuncture and how it could give ahappy ending to your infertility story.

Pregnancy & Fertility
Pregnancy & Fertility

Myth #1: Acupuncture hurts!

For mostpeople unfamiliar with acupuncture, the treatment sounds like a run-in with aporcupine. In reality, the insertion of an acupuncture needle shouldn’t hurtany worse than a mild bug bite. Many patients don’t feel pain at all! Theinsertion of an acupuncture needle may cause feelings of heat, tingling, orheaviness, and some patients may feel some soreness after a treatment. Butacupuncture is certainly less painful than infertility.

Myth #2: Acupuncture is just eastern mumbo jumbo.

It’strue that acupuncture is believed to have originated in China, but the conceptsbehind it aren’t very different from those behind massage therapy usedthroughout North America. Acupuncture is based on the simple idea that the bodyis made up of many different systems, such as the digestive and reproductivesystems, that all connect to and influence each other. This idea is supportedby many scientists and physicians.

Myth #3: Acupuncturists aren’t real doctors.

Peoplemay think of acupuncturists as uneducated people working out of their garages,but did you know that professional acupuncturists are usually licensed andoften have additional certifications? Many have a degree (such as a Masters ofAcupuncture and Oriental Medicine), and some are medical doctors as well; you shouldbe able to find an acupuncturist with whatever qualifications you are lookingfor. Still worried? Don’t be—many acupuncturists specializing in fertility alsowork closely with reproductive endocrinologists and fertility doctors tocoordinate your treatments and healthcare.

Myth #4: Acupuncture can’t fix something as complex asinfertility.

Remember the idea that the body’s systems affect each other? Thelow performance of a woman’s reproductive system is sometimes rooted inproblems with one or more of the other systems in the woman’s body. The goal ofacupuncture is to strengthen and regulate all systems of the body so that theycan work together, thereby helping the reproductive system function properly.It may sound simple, but it is often effective. Medicinal herbs are often addedto acupuncture for increased benefits.[4]

Myth #5: Acupuncture is too expensive.

Youmight be surprised by how affordable acupuncture can be, especially compared toother fertility treatments. But even if the price of acupuncture treatmentseems high to you, it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Some healthinsurance companies will reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Even if theacupuncturist or facility you choose doesn’t do direct insurance billing, youwill always have the option of submitting a claim to your insurance company. Inaddition, many acupuncture facilities offer package discounts and paymentplans.

Tryingsomething new is always intimidating. But hopefully resolving some of thescariest and silliest misunderstandings about acupuncture has opened your mindto its possible benefits in the area of fertility. Don’t hesitate to do somemore research or find an acupuncturist nearby. Your baby could be waiting.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2014/02/06/the-cost-of-ivf-4-things-i-learned-while-battling-infertility/#155d147724dd