A couple may be considered infertile if, after one year of sexual intercourse without contraception, the woman has not become pregnant.
Integrative treatment of infertility is indicated in cases of sperm disorders in men or ovulatory dysfunction in women. It is necessary to distinguish between traditional treatments and assisted reproduction techniques.
Acupuncture: traditional treatments for infertility
In cases where assisted reproduction is not involved, treatment for both men and women usually lasts for 3 to 6 months, including conventional treatment combined with acupuncture. Acupuncture has an indirect regulatory action on female genital physiology, and is used to achieve a regular menstrual cycle with an acceptable ovarian response.
Treatment for men is almost always limited to the application of acupuncture without medication. Acupuncture influences the quality of seminal fluid and is associated with an increased sperm count.
The treatment of both men and women is suspended when pregnancy occurs.
Combination with assisted reproduction
Where assisted reproduction techniques are involved, integrative treatment is only indicated for women. The common factor in these treatments is the need to achieve quality eggs before applying any of the various insemination techniques.
Due to its indirect action on ovulation and egg quality, acupuncture can be combined with conventional therapy.
Depending on the assisted reproduction technique, acupuncture treatment may last for up to three months, with three sessions per week, before implantation of eggs, gametes or embryos.
Dr. Federico Marmori