Acupuncture is the insertion of small needles along various parts of your body. The theory behind acupuncture involves rebalancing your body's power as it runs through energy fields called meridians.

Though still not completely accepted by traditional Western medicine, acupuncture has been shown in various clinical trials to benefit both female and male fertility problems.

One such study was conducted by the University of Heidelberg in Germany and published in 1992 by Gynecological Endocrinology. The study involved 90 women with irregular menstrual cycles. Half of these women were given acupuncture at treatment points on their ears. The remaining women were treated with hormones. The study found that women treated with acupuncture had 22 pregnancies. Women treated with hormones had 20 pregnancies. It was also noted that several undesirable side effects were seen among the women in the hormone group, but no side effects occurred in the acupuncture group. The study concluded that acupuncture may provide a valuable alternative for women with irregular menstrual cycles.

Another German study, conducted in 1984 by Fischl, Riegler, Bieglmayer, et al., showed that acupuncture may be beneficial in increasing sperm quality. Acupuncture was performed on 28 men with known sperm fertility problems. The men received multiple acupuncture treatments over a period of one month. The results showed a statistically significant improvement in sperm quality.

Acupuncture is gaining in popularity but is still not practiced among conventional health care practitioners in the United States. It is commonly performed in other parts of the world and also by trained alternative medicine professionals within the United States. If you decide to try acupuncture, be certain to select a well-trained and competent health care provider.

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