Can acupuncture and hypnosis treat infertility?

Infertility is a relatively common condition in the United States, seen in nearly 10 percent of men and women of reproductive age [source: EMedicineHealth]. Doctors can diagnose it after a couple is unable to become pregnant after a full year of unprotected sex. The plethora of treatments for infertile couples includes in vitro fertilization, fertility drugs, hormone therapy, behavioral changes (losing weight or quitting smoking) and surgical repair of fallopian tubes or sperm ducts.

The term complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, describes any medical practice or product that is not included in the Western world's definition of standard care. Standard care is medicine practiced by doctors, nurses, physical therapists and physician assistants -- it includes the use of modern surgical procedures and prescription drugs.

"Alternative medicine" refers to medical treatments used in place of standard care. "Complementary medicine" is nonstandard treatment that's used along with standard care.

I­n this article, we'll discuss two popular CAM therapies -- acupuncture and hypnosis -- and their uses in infertility treatment.