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can you tell me if accupuncture can help with infertility?

Q:  can you tell me if accupuncture can help with infertility? i have one blocked tube & havent ovulated since had my son 5 years ago.
any advice would be great.   thank you


A: This is a far from straightforward question to answer. As far as research is concerned there is very little of sufficient quality to be able to make any encouraging noises about what acupuncture might achieve. Our factsheetis very clear on this point.
That said, the fact that you haven't ovulated for the last five years is precisely the kind of reason why many women start to look at therapies like acupuncture which have an entirely different understanding of the physiology and pathology of the body. Chinese medicine is based on theories of energy, called 'qi', and its patterns of flow within the body. Within the paradigm of Chinese medicine most problems are ascribed to either blockages or disturbances in this flow which in turn lead to functional disturbances in organs and the natural rhythms of the body. Modern problems are not new, and the Chinese medicine practitioners two thousand years ago confronted the same difficulties and found ways of explaining them within their system of medicine. This also meant that they had potential solutions, and there are several distinct ways in which fertility problems are described and treated.
The caution in modern times is that the fertility industry has become a big business, and there are now many people offering acupuncture treatment as a part of their package for helping women with problems who are not necessarily using the sophisticated system of Chinese medicine as it was intended. Formula treatments are rarely going to be enough to deal with complex issues, and the strength of Chinese medicine lies in the skill and artistry of the practitioner in discerning the unique patterns of the individual's disease.
Our advice is always to visit a BAcC member local to you for a face to face assessment of whether they think acupuncture can help. We are in the process of developing systems for accrediting postgraduate training in this field so that members can make it known that they are experts in the field, but since this work is still being finalised we cannot give referrals to individual practitioners with special expertise in this field. Most BAcC members who spend a great deal of their time working with fertility issues are very clear about this on their websites, and it should be relatively simple to identify a BAcC member near you with this particular focus in their practice.  

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