Acupuncture for Fertility

By Kym Caporale, MS DOM

Acupuncture Physician, NCCAOM Acupuncture Diplomat
Founder of The Caporale Center of Natural Health, the only Florida Acupuncture Center that solely specializes in Infertility and Reproductive Health.

If you watch reality TV or pick up the occasional US Weekly or People magazine, you may have noticed a growing trend in celebrities being open and forthcoming about their own struggles with conceiving. Many celebrity couples are shining a bright spotlight on acupuncture and nutrition to increase fertility. With so many resources available to them, it is acupuncture’s proven, steady rate of success that has drawn the celebrity, as well as the public eye , to this centuries old practice of medicine.

Many people ask, “Does acupuncture increase the likelihood of success with IVF?” Clinical research seems to suggest it does.

  • One German study took 160 women undergoing IVF and split them into two groups. One group combined acupuncture with IVF and one group did not. Interestingly the group that did the acupuncture had a 50% better outcome than the group that did IVF alone.
  • In 2006, a study published by Fertility & Sterility took 225 women undergoing IVF/ICSI and split them into two groups. One group received acupuncture and the other did not. The group that had acupuncture treatments for fertility was 14% more likely to conceive and hold the pregnancy.
  • In 2008, research published in the British Medical Journal showed that women doing IVF and who underwent acupuncture were 65% more likely to have a successful embryo transfer compared with those who underwent a “sham” version of the treatment, or no extra treatment at all.

The treatment of infertility with acupuncture dates back 2,000 years. For the past 12 years, the Caporale Center of Natural Health has used acupuncture, nutritional supplementation & counseling, Mind Body medicine and peer counseling to support both men and women during fertility treatments. As Florida’s only acupuncture physician specializing in Integrative Reproductive Medicine, Kym Caporale treats hundreds of couples each year for infertility and in the run up to an IVF cycle to make sure that they are in an optimal position to succeed. The Caporale Center’s success rates and positive experiences are echoed by recent research which shows that acupuncture can promote the circulation of blood in the pelvic cavity and improve ovarian function Fertility & Sterility, Volume 78, Issue 6, December 2002, Pages 1149-1153. Acupuncture may also be beneficial in promoting follicle production, enhancing uterine blood flow and thus improving uterine lining thickness and decreasing uterine contractions after embryo transfer. Acupuncture Treatment for Infertile Women Undergoing Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection by Sandra L. Emmons, MD and Philip Patton, MD, “Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.” Oxford Journals, Medicine, Human Reproduction, Volume 11, Issue 6, Pages 1314-1317.

For more information on Acupuncture and Integrative Reproductive Medicine, please visit the Caporale Center of Natural Health online at www.livewelltampabay.com or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/capctr.

Kym Caporale holds three Masters Degrees, is a Florida and Tennessee licensed Acupuncture Physician, a NCCAOM Diplomat of Acupuncture, an adjunct professor at East West College of Natural Medicine, member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is a certified professional instructor of the Mind Body Program for Infertility as well as the founder of the Caporale Center of Natural Health, with three offices in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Sarasota. Kym is also a founding member and facilitator of Resolve of Tampa Bay.

The Caporale Center offers acupuncture, fertility specific nutritional counseling, peer& patient-to-patient counseling and an in-house fertility support network as well as Mind Body & Hypnosis for Birthing classes.


New Hope – Acupuncture May Improve Infertility

By Yangchong Ou DOM, AP, MD in China
Integrative Medicine Center, Inc.

If you are among the 4.5 million couples experiencing infertility each year, you know the sadness, anxiety, and frustration that can result from constantly trying to conceive without success. You struggle every day with the yearning to have what seems to come so naturally to other couples. In your darkest moment, you may wonder if holding a baby in your arms will ever become a reality.
The good news is acupuncture may help. In the past decade, there has been clinical research suggesting that acupuncture can improve the success rate from IUI and IVF by 26-50% without side effects. Recently, there was a clinical study about acupuncture on IVF-ET in patients with lower ovarian reserves. The study was a total of 63 patients divided into a treatment group of 30 (with acupuncture) and a control group of 33 (w/o acupuncture). Compared with the control group, levels of E2, number of retrieved oocytes, number of fertilization and number of high quality embryos were all increased in the treatment group (all P < 0.05). Also, the implantation rate and the clinical pregnancy rate were improved (both P < 0.01) and the cycle cancellation rate was reduced (P< 0.01). [Effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on IVF-ET in patients with decline in ovarian reserve, Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2016 Jan;36(1):25-8]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26946729. For infertility, acupuncture may be just what the doctor ordered.

Acupuncture may increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. Acupuncture practitioners believe that meridians conduct qi, or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving. Among many other benefits, acupuncture may increase the chance to conceive, carry a pregnancy to delivery and to have a healthy baby.
The Integrative Medicine Center practices acupuncture and oriental medicine. We specialize in infertility and have been working with The Reproductive Medicine Group for more than ten years. We’ve helped hundreds of couples conceive. Integrative Medicine Center is a family run practice. We treat our patients like our family. Our clinic is located only five minutes away from The RMG Fletcher office. Wife (Dr. Gong) and Husband (Dr. Ou) are both Medical Doctors in China, state licensed, and have a NCCAOM Diploma in acupuncture. They have over 30 years of experience. For more information visit www.imcfl.com or call us at 813-977-2677.