Maybe that would have happened regardless, we don't know," says Sheeva Talebian, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in New York City. As a benign intervention with few, if any, drawbacks, Dr. Talebian sees acupuncture as a solid first line of defense. "In Western medicine, for better or for worse, we can be pill pushers, but there are downsides to treating infertility too early," she offers. For example, she says prescribing Clomid, a popular fertility drug that stimulates the ovarian follicles to release multiple eggs at once, can result in twins, which are higher-risk for both the mother and the fetuses. "Are we starting to intervene and create anxiety when we don't need to?" she asks. While acupuncture has long been touted as a way to reduce anxiety, that's not what's at issue here: "We offer acupuncture because it helps patients navigate the complexities and stress of 'What if I never have that baby?' but stress isn't the reason you're not getting pregnant," says James Grifo, MD, director of the Fertility Center at NYU Langone Health. Seriously—the whole 'just relax and you'll get pregnant' thing is a myth. Most infertility stems from poor-quality eggs, sperm, or anatomic factors like blocked fallopian tubes. Run-of-the-mill work stress isn't a roadblock to those two pink lines.
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