Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the more challenging it becomes to conceive. If you
have tried every possible modern method to increase your fertility and you have not been
able to conceive or to carry to term, do not give up. There is another option that you have
probably never thought of. It is the ancient art of acupuncture. Dr. Seyoung Kim, D.C., a
licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist in Oklahoma City, says that many couples are
turning to this age-old Chinese treatment to increase fertility and their chances of
Acupuncture involves the strategic placement of tiny needles into patterns on the
body. The needles are used to stimulate certain key energy points believed to regulate
spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical balance. Without the proper balance, channels
of life energy, called Qi (Chi), can be disrupted and can cause disease and ailments. “But
the body has the power to heal itself,” Dr. Kim says. Placing acupuncture needles in
certain areas of Qi normalizes the body and helps your body to promote self-healing. “A
host of ailments can be fixed and the body is balanced,” he says.
Stress, along with a host of environmental factors and internal factors, can
unbalance the body, disrupt ovulation, adversely affect fertility, and decrease your
chances of becoming pregnant. That’s where acupuncture comes in. Acupuncture helps
balance the body for conception and encourages fertility by increasing and moving the
flow of Qi from areas where there may be too much energy, to areas that are deficient.
This helps to normalize the body, alleviate stressors, increase blood flow, and improve
circulation to the reproductive organs. Then, the odds of conception are increased and the
eggs have a better chance of being nourished and carried to full-term.
During this procedure, approximately ten acupuncture needles are placed in
strategic areas of the body specifically for stress and fertility points. Dr. Kim says that
women should receive three of these treatments a week for a month or until conception.
Acupuncture is also beneficial in conjunction with modern fertility treatments. Studies
show that acupuncture enhances the success rate of in vitro fertilization. Women
receiving fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization are treated with acupuncture for
several months beforehand, as well as post embryo transfer.
Whether trying acupuncture in conjunction with other fertility treatments or alone,
more and more women are looking to the ancient treatment to increase their chances of a
successful pregnancy. Dr. Kim says that within the last year, four women have received
acupuncture treatments from him to increase their fertility. Two of the women conceived
and had successful, healthy pregnancies. One of these four women, Christi Koehn of
Oklahoma City, gave birth to a baby boy, Jude Campbell Koehn, in May.
Christi says that she did not have a problem conceiving, but she had difficulty
carrying to full-term. She had conceived and then miscarried three times in the twelve
months prior to trying acupuncture treatments. She says that her progesterone levels were
dropping early in each pregnancy, causing her to miscarry. Two of the three times Christi
became pregnant, she took oral progesterone beginning at the time of ovulation, but she
Finally, Christi discovered information about how acupuncture could help her and
she gave Dr. Kim a call. Christi says that she expected the acupuncture treatments to help
her feel better, and they did. “Acupuncture, for me, helped relieve stress tremendously,”
she says. “Each visit I would leave feeling so relaxed. That is a wonderful reason in and
of itself to try it.” Christi says that even the needles that sometimes pinch just a bit are
ultimately relaxing. Relieving stress is extremely vital to a healthy and successful
Christi says that after a year of miscarriages her body was out of tune. She feels
that acupuncture restored balance to her body and brought her body’s flow of energy to a
normal level. “There was a blockage of energy and acupuncture released it,” Christi
explains. “The energy could get to where it needed to go again.”
While receiving acupuncture treatments, Christi was also seeing a reproductive
endocrinologist. “I was put through rigorous testing to determine if there was a reason for
all the miscarriages only to be told I was perfectly, painfully healthy.” Her reproductive
endocrinologist was supportive of Christi’s choice to receive acupuncture treatments and
prescribed a vaginal progesterone suppository, which she used from the date of
ovulation. “We conceived the first month of trying, which also coincided with my
acupuncture treatments,” Christi says. She had been receiving acupuncture for about a
month and a half prior to conception. Following Dr. Kim’s recommendation, she stopped
receiving the acupuncture treatments after she became pregnant. She continued using the
progesterone supplement until thirteen weeks gestation.
Christi fully believes that the acupuncture treatments enabled her body to break
the cycle of miscarriage. “There is no way to know if it was exclusively the acupuncture
or the vaginal progesterone suppositories, but considering I had taken oral progesterone
before to no avail, I feel it was a combination of the two,” she says.
Once Christi had conceived, she and her husband were understandably
apprehensive because they had already conceived and miscarried three times in the year
prior to trying acupuncture. However, Christi says that once they had passed the eight-
week mark, they knew that they were going to be successful. “And now we have a
beautiful one-month-old son,” she says.
While she and her husband do not plan on having any more children, if they ever
changed their minds, she says she would definitely use acupuncture therapy again. “I will
probably use it again for unrelated reasons, as well.” Christi also recommends
acupuncture to other women trying to conceive. Christi says, “It's worth it for the stress
relief alone, and if it can't hurt, then it's worth a try.”
Brooke Rivera of Oklahoma City also became pregnant while receiving
acupuncture treatments at Dr. Kim’s clinic. Brooke and her husband Danny had been
trying to conceive for a year and four months when they learned how acupuncture could
help them. Brooke’s husband, Danny, had been visiting Dr. Kim for chiropractic care and
they discussed how acupuncture could increase fertility. Brook had also been doing a lot
of research at the time and discovered that acupuncture had helped a number of couples
with infertility problems.
Brooke says that before she tried acupuncture, she first had a hysterosalpingogram
(HSG), which tests the integrity of the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. That is how
she and Danny discovered that she had blockage in her fallopian tubes. They then
decided to have a procedure called laparoscopy done. “From there I was on Clomid for
four months, taking a higher dose each month in hopes that our dream of becoming
pregnant would come true,” Brooke says. “When it didn’t, we stopped taking the Clomid
and planned on starting our first cycle of IVF in January of 2012.”
Fortunately for Brooke and Danny, they tried acupuncture treatments first and
were able to cancel that scheduled cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF). In fact, Brooke did
not receive any other fertility treatments while she was receiving her acupuncture
treatments. Then, after approximately three acupuncture treatments, she became pregnant
with her and her husband’s first child. “Words cannot describe how happy and overjoyed
we were when we found out we were expecting,” Brooke exclaims. “It was the happiest
Brooke and Danny will welcome their baby boy this September. They credit this
happy news to the acupuncture treatments Brooke received. “We feel that with Dr. Kim’s
help, the acupuncture played a major role in our successful pregnancy.” Brooke was
admittedly a little intimidated and skeptical of the treatments at first. “But, with Dr.
Kim’s experience and professionalism, he made the entire experience with acupuncture
enjoyable and beneficial,” she says. Now, Brooke recommends acupuncture to other
women and couples trying to conceive. “I am a firm believer in acupuncture!” When
Brooke and Danny are ready to have more children, Brooke says that she will definitely
try acupuncture treatments with Dr. Kim again.
Before you try acupuncture to enhance your own chances of a successful
pregnancy, it is a good idea to see your gynecologist or fertility doctor. Your doctor can
find out if a medical condition or structural defect is preventing you from getting
pregnant. If you do not have a medical condition, you are an excellent candidate for
acupuncture to increase fertility. Unfortunately, acupuncture cannot help you become
pregnant if you have structural problems such as blocked fallopian tubes or a fibroid
However, there are still benefits to acupuncture and zero risks to your health if
your acupuncturist has been properly trained. The acupuncture needles used at reputable
clinics are also completely safe. They are disposable and thrown out after one use. The
needles may cause slight discomfort the first time you try acupuncture, but Dr. Kim says
that most women do not even feel them.
Not only are acupuncture needles virtually painless, acupuncture needles are often
relied on to relieve and manage pain. That is because acupuncture can help your body
release its own natural pain relievers. Therefore, acupuncture is often used to relieve
headaches, back pain, and even labor pain. Women who do not wish to be medicated
when they give birth can instead receive acupuncture during labor to reduce their pain
naturally. The Bastyr Center for Natural Health says that in studies comparing
acupuncture with conventional care, women receiving acupuncture requested
significantly fewer pain-relieving interventions and felt less pain during labor.
Whether you desire to manage your pain naturally, melt away stress, restore a
healthy balance to your body, or increase your fertility, there is a host of helpful
acupuncture treatments that can improve your health and wellbeing. Whichever reason
you have to give acupuncture a try, Dr. Kim says that you have nothing to lose. He says
that acupuncture treatments can only help, not hurt, by relieving stress, restoring proper
energy flow, and balancing the body for a healthier, happier you.
Dr. Seyoung Kim is a licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist who has been practicing
in the Oklahoma City area for eighteen years. He is an undergraduate of the University
of Oklahoma and a 92' graduate of Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Seyoung Kim Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic
5583 N.W. Expressway Oklahoma City, OK 73132
Article as written by Lauren Downs for BragBook Magazine; Issue 7: Summer/Fall 2012