How do I find an acupuncturist for fertility issues?

Choosing a Fertility Acupuncturist

Should I look for an acupuncturist who specializes in infertility?

Inserting Acupuncture Needles to female abdomen

First, Please Read How to Chose An Acupuncturist (General)

If you are suffering from fertility-related issues, you may want to see an experienced fertility acupuncturist. Here are some important criteria to follow when you are making an initial attempt to choose an acupuncturist for infertility issues.

Acupuncture Styles:  It is useful to ask which technique the acupuncturist uses. Even among qualified acupuncturists, the techniques used vary greatly according to each one’s background (Read Acupuncture Styles to learn more).  For example, some acupuncturists hook up a few needles to an electro-stimulator for several minutes, while others utilize more traditional procedures involving more systemic needling during an hour-long appointment.  Both methods are still referred to as “acupuncture,” and this is important to keep in mind when making inquiries. It should also be noted that in North America, acupuncture was initially introduced as an analgesic method, and it is still most commonly used as a pain management modality. Many acupuncture programs offered in North America today, especially the ones provided for physiotherapists or chiropractors, focus on analgesic acupuncture techniques (which may not necessarily be most suitable for fertility issues).

Success Rate?:We do not know any responsible acupuncturists who provide the rate of their success for infertility.  As explained in the Infertility FAQ page, there are no standards that exist to produce meaningful success rate statistics.  The best alternative is to ask how many of their patients became pregnant in the past. It may not give you a good sense of your actual chance of success, but at least it will give you an idea about the practitioner’s experience and track record in infertility cases.

Should I look for an acupuncturist who specializes in infertility?:It is important to note that when an acupuncturist uses terms such as ‘specialize’ or ‘specialization,’ these should not be confused with medical specialization in terms of the requirements and standard of training.*  While some “specialist” acupuncturists may indeed have great understanding and experience, virtually any acupuncturist can indicate their specialization of interest without any additional training or experience in treating that condition. Acupuncture should not be considered specific fertility treatment. Instead, acupuncture should be considered as a modality to help promote and optimize overall health, thus leading to the enhancement of fertility and helping optimize the chance of carrying to term.  Potential pitfalls due to micro specialization among allopathic medicine have been frequently discussed elsewhere.  A common tenet of acupuncture and many other modalities of natural medicine is “treating the whole.”  While it can be helpful if an acupuncturist has a good understanding of the various aspects affecting infertility and has experience in treating this condition, focusing too much on one issue can lead to missing the larger picture (somewhat like overlooking the forest for the trees).

In the province of Ontario, registered acupuncturists are not allowed to claim his/her areas of specialization regardless of their previous training. They are prohibited using the term such as “specialized,” “specialist,” and “specialization.”.

Who is the Best?:The ‘best acupuncturist’ for one person may not be the best for another. Sometimes it is necessary to try out different acupuncturists or styles. Generally, we recommend choosing an acupuncturist primarily based on overall ability and experience, who will focus on a holistic treatment approach helping you obtain better health.

CAM Pseudoexperts
“……in order to qualify as an expert, one has to have a reasonably long history of dealing with the subjects.  In CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine), such common sense is often suspended.  Here people seem to become ‘experts’ virtually overnight…..”
Prof. Edzard Ernist
Focus on Alternative and Complimentary Therapies, Vol. 11, No.2, P85-6, 2006