Acupuncture for Fertility: Overcoming MTHFR

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Infertility is an issue which impacts one in six couples trying to have a baby. While the reasons couples experience difficulty becoming pregnant may vary, the struggle is the same. Thousands spent on treatments, time, effort, hormones, and the range of emotions couples endure is exhausting. Doctors have long touted the importance in folic acid for women during their childbearing years, as well as during pregnancy. One issue impacting infertility is a defect in the  Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase or MTHFR gene. Understanding how this gene impacts fertility is important in understanding what you can do to increase your chances of conceiving naturally and carrying your baby to full term, but there is good news. Acupuncture for fertility can be effective, regardless of MTHFR genetic marker.


The MTHFR gene is responsible for utilizing folic acid in the production of methylfolate. When a woman has a defective MTHFR gene, she is 40-60 percent less efficient at this production.  MTHFR mutation has been linked to several health-related conditions. Among those are spina bifida, anencephaly, and alopecia areata.  While these sound scary, and are, it should not prevent a woman from trying to conceive. MTHFR mutation is common, and there are options for treatment which will replace what the body is not naturally producing, in a healthy way.


Knowing how important folic acid is for a healthy pregnancy, it is obvious why so many women would be scared to learn they carry a mutation of this gene. Knowledge is power, and in the fight against infertility, knowing what you are up against can ease the fear of this battle. While it may seem scary to hear that you are dealing with a genetic defect, there are ways a woman can combat pregnancy issues after a diagnosis of MTHFR mutation. Consult your OB/GYN to find out what you need to do in order to be tested if you have not already.


First off, testing will help determine the type of mutation the woman is carrying. Testing will determine whether the genetic mutation is a heterozygous or homozygous one. Homozygous require more methylfolate supplementation and should avoid synthetic folic acid. It is important to discuss with your physician which type of MTHFR defect you have, and be specific in creating your treatment plan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be certain that you are pursuing the best course of action for your body.


Along with supplementation requirements, there are other things a woman diagnosed with MTHFR mutation can do in order to increase her odds of becoming pregnant and carrying a healthy, full-term baby. Some of these include:


  • Eating organic foods to lessen mother and baby’s exposure to toxic chemicals. This should include lots of green, leafy vegetables, beans, liver, and other foods naturally rich in folate.

  • Avoid synthetic folic acid. Instead utilize whole food prenatal vitamins through pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your doctor can advise you on which supplements are safe for you.

  • B Vitamin supplementation. Your doctor can guide you as to which vitamins are best for you and how much you should take daily.

  • Protein consumption is very important, and should be available at every meal.

  • Acupuncture & NAET treatments with trained fertility specialists


These are just a few of the ways in which a woman diagnosed with MTHFR mutation can combat the impact the defect has on her fertility. Also, they can help her reduce her rate of postpartum depression. While the diagnosis can be scary, there are ways a woman can carry a healthy, full-term baby even with the mutation. Through knowledge and guidance from an informed healthcare provider, this diagnosis does not have to mean the inability to have children naturally. It is more common than you may think, and women successfully manage birth after diagnosis every day.

At Phoenix Rising Acupuncture in the River Oaks area of Houston, we specialize in treating fertility patients, and we understand the effect MTHFR and genetic variances play in the fertility journey. We partner with each patient to help guide them through a successful fertility experience.


Lori Earley