Acupuncture Boosts Chances of Getting Pregnant

Updated 21 November 2015

Acupuncture Boosts Chances of Getting Pregnant

For many couples, the diagnosis of infertility brings much emotional, physical and financial stress. Couples are left feeling helpless and hopeless. This added stress can further interfere with fertility. More and more of these patients are turning to unconventional, alternative, or complementary approaches to assist in improving their fertility. Acupuncture is one adjunctive treatment that is gaining in popularity.
Recent studies confirm that acupuncture treatment contributes to increase the pregnancy rate in women who undergo IVF treatment. Research suggests that Acupuncture works to increase blood flow to the uterus, reducing uterine contractions and regulating stress hormones which may enhance the chance of implantation of the embryos to the uterine wall and successful pregnancy.
Acupuncture can affect male fertility as well by improving the Spermatogenesis (the production and maturation of sperm cells) process.
One such study was conducted on a group of infertile men with pathological sperm abnormalities and a poor fertilization rate in at least two cycles of IVF. These men were given acupuncture treatment for 8 weeks (two sessions every week) and the IVF cycles were repeated following the acupuncture treatment. The fertilization rate rose significantly from 40% prior to treatment to 66% following acupuncture treatment.
It should be noted that Spermatogenesis takes approximately 75 days. For this reason, the minimum recommended treatment for male factor infertility should be twice per week for 10-12 weeks.
Despite continued research showing efficacy of acupuncture treatment there are many that say it is nothing more than placebo. In the end it doesn't matter that much whether the success of acupuncture is a placebo effect or not. The bottom line is that acupuncture is relatively safe, and if it improves fertility it may be a worthwhile option for many patients.

The best first step to treating any fertility problem is to contact a specialist. If you do decide to try acupuncture, look for a certified, licensed acupuncture physician with experience in treating infertility and working with IVF. Always inform your doctor prior to trying any adjunctive therapies if undergoing IVF procedure.

Dr. Matthew A. Tracey, OMD
Consultant, Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture
Director, Complementary Medicine Center
International Medical Center, Jeddah


5 reasons to add blueberries to your diet

Updated 31 May 2020

5 reasons to add blueberries to your diet

DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, shares her expert advice on the superfoods that will help you lead a longer and healthier life.

It’s hard to believe that this unassuming little berry, easily available at most food stores, is one of the healthiest things you could possibly eat. Blueberries can be enjoyed on their own, in breakfast bowls, smoothies, muffins and even as garnish on your pancakes and waffles. Here are five ways they can improve your health.

(Shutterstock)

DNA health

We need antioxidants to protect our cells from damage, and blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food. The job of antioxidants is to combat free radicals in the body, which are increased by factors such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, poor diet, tissue damage, infections and excessive sunbathing. Too many free radicals can lead to damaged DNA, increasing the risk of many cancers and diseases.

Bone health

Blueberries are a good source of vitamin K, which works with calcium to build strong bones. A deficiency in the vitamin can often be a sign of osteoporosis. Vitamin K is also essential in the process of blood clotting and contributes to good heart health.

(Shutterstock)

Blood pressure and heart disease

The antioxidants in blueberries can also help to lower bad cholesterol, in turn making the heart’s job a little easier and lowering blood pressure. Observational studies have shown that proper intake of anthocyanins (the main antioxidants in blueberries) could reduce the risk of heart attacks by 32 percent.

Mental ageing

The oxidative stress that free radicals cause can also affect the brain and accelerate its ageing process. Studies have shown that eating blueberries can help improve brain function in older individuals with mild cognitive impairments and can also delay mental ageing by over two years.

Weight loss

Blueberries have just 40 calories per half a cup. They are about 85 percent water and high in fiber and are thus great for keeping you full and staving off hunger. Studies have also shown that the anthocyanin antioxidants present in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese patients and can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.