I have interviewed some doctors in Central Illinois about the use of acupuncture for fertility. Some say it is often successful when there is no known reason for the infertility. My OB does not recommend it because he said there is no research proving it works. That doesn't mean it doesn't work for some women. It means you are taking a financial risk. But I don't think acupuncture is very costly. You also have to make sure there are no medical risks to yourself. I keep seeing more and more national stories on the success of acupuncture for fertility. Either more women are having success with it or it's getting to the media more often. Something is changing. Would you try acupuncture for infertility?
FROM NBC: Couples struggling with fertility problems are finding hope out of a practice that's been around for centuries-acupuncture. Mothers and doctors say the proof is in the stroller.
Baby Oceana is a miracle to her mother Penny, who had been trying for years to get pregnant.
Penelope Jagessar Chaffer/Mother:"Everyone was kind of at a loss for why it wasn't happening and I was getting frustrated and also scared. i was thinking that i probably won't be able to have this baby that I really wanted to have."
The breakthrough for her was an ancient Chinese treatment.
Penelope Jagessar Chaffer/Mother"It's not painful. It's almost like an electrical shock."
Jill Blakeway/licensed acupuncturist:"Acupuncture is a proven method of increasing fertility. we used it everyday here at yenova center to bring blood to the ovaries, to help potentate a good follicle. we use it to improve blood circulation to the uterus, balance hormones, and reduce inflammation, possibly shorter."
The pins are just part of the process. Jill Blakeway is a licensed acupuncturist at the Yinova Center in Greenwich village and founder of a fertility boot camp. Jill Blakeway/ licensed acupuncturist:"We give them lifestyle recommendations. we give them dietary recommendations. we make herbal suggestions."
This holistic approach doesn't stand alone. Jill suggests that it's a combined effort of eastern and western medicine that produces results. Dr. Tanmoy Muhkerjee/Fertility Expert:"A significant number of my patients are benefitting from the therapy, and a good percentage also succeed with a combination approach of acupuncture and assisted reproduction."
Doctor Tanmoy Muhkerjee is a fertility expert with Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He appreciates the different perspectives that practitioners like Jill offer.
Dr. Tanmoy Muhkerjee/ fertility expert: "We coordinate our treatment with the acupuncturist to make sure that the patient enjoys the benefit of both approaches."
The results are impressive, but there are reasons to avoid the therapy.
Dr. Tanmoy Muhkerjee/fertility expert:"There are clear cut surgical issues such as where acupuncture therapies are not useful, but a good acupuncturist will be aware that this is the situation they're dealing with and refer back to a specialist for intervention."
As for Penny, well she's a believer. She's continued acupuncture after giving birth. She even brings along little Oceana for a treatment.
Jill Blakeway/licensed acupuncturist:"Acupuncture actually works very well on babies, and it's great because when they're this little and medicine isn't really an option unless they're really, really sick."
A peaceful practice, healthy for both mother and daughter alike.
"I never thought I'd have her."