Some Women Try Acupuncture to Conceive
Treatments help reduce stress, advocates say
For women trying to have a baby but haven't succeeded, there are many grueling and expensive options to explore.
But some women are adding another option to the list -- acupuncture.
According to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, older women are particularly drawn to acupuncture because they may have been through the other options.
Older women usually face a host of problems when it comes to conception. A woman is born with a certain number of eggs, hundreds are lost with each menstrual cycle and those that are left after 35 years are more fragile, making fertilization and normal development more difficult.
Because the body rejects embryos that aren't developing properly, the rate of miscarriages among women over 40 is high, about 52 percent. That compares to about 10 percent for women in their 20s. Older women also have a higher chance of having a baby with Down syndrome. And older women are more likely to have problems like fibroids, scarring from past infections, or be with a partner who is older and may have fertility issues like poor sperm.
And, of course, the emotional aspect of trying to conceive can cause stress, making it more difficult to conceive.
For whatever reason, some medical experts say, acupuncture is able to deal with some of the problems relating to an inability to conceive. In some cases, they say, it's a matter of easing the stress and dealing with the patient's state of mind. Harvard University, for example, has started a behavioral medicine program to treat infertile couples.
Acupuncture specialists usually prescribe a combination of acupuncture therapy, diet and herbal medicines. Women are sometimes told to stay away from cold and raw foods, wheat and sugar. Some herbs are taken orally, others are burned near certain parts of the body. Acupuncture treatments can be once or twice a week and are designed to help restore the flow of energy that acupuncture specialists say will prepare the patient for pregnancy, the story says.