Increasing numbers of couples are turning to alternative therapies, either to supplement or to take the place of conventional medical fertility treatments. Recently the CDC (Center for Disease control) reported that 7 million women of reproductive age have undergone fertility treatments.

Alternative therapies include (but are not limited to):

Acupuncture – the most popular alternative treatment, acupuncture is now offered at some medical clinics. Studies show it can help improve IVF success rates.

Dietary changes – as well as the more widely known changes (reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption), this can also include the addition of certain vitamins and fatty acids to one’s daily diet, and the omission of wheat or gluten.

Herbal remedies – some herbs, such as red clover and chasteberry, are believed to enhance hormonal balance and regulate fertility when used in the correct doses. User herbs with caution. Herbs can trigger allergies, be toxic or irritating, or remain out in the body too long,

Homeopathy – a homeopathic medical professional considers the patient’s overall health, history, and emotional wellbeing, and then prescribes plant-based treatments.

Reflexology – massage of specific points on the feet is thought to aid in the healing of connected organs. The technique can be helpful in reducing stress, and in easing symptoms of PCOS and endometriosis.

Hypnosis – In 2006, an Israeli study showed that women who were hypnotized during the implantation of embryos during IVF were twice as likely to get pregnant as those who weren’t hypnotized. But the research is limited and it’s difficult to generalize to all fertility challenges.

Reiki – a form of spiritual healing, reiki practitioners report that it is particularly helpful in cases of unexplained infertility.

Yoga – certain poses (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama) may help to calm the mind and relax the body. Many women who are experiencing fertility challenges become angry and disappointed with their body. Yoga can help balance these feelings.

Opinions about the effectiveness of alternative therapies vary widely throughout the medical field. As with conventional medical treatments, couples should be sure to seek advice from a qualified practitioner before trying any of these methods. Particular care should be taken when combining homeopathic or herbal remedies with fertility drugs; be sure to inform your specialist of all medicines being taken.