Acupuncture and IVF
Acupuncture can offer an alternative, low cost option for couples wanting to maximise their IVF chances. Clinical trials attest that Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer may increase implantation rates, lower the incidence of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies and increase live birth rates.
How can Acupuncture improve IVF Success?
IVF Acupuncture performed according to accepted protocols can:
- increase blood flow to the uterus, aiding endometrial thickness and implantation
- promote blood flow to the ovaries, assisting follicular growth and oxygenation (which can improve egg numbers and quality)
- minimise uterine spasms
- increase the body’s endorphin levels, promoting relaxation and eliminating the interference of stress hormones
- enhance the effectiveness of IVF medications and minimise any side effects (abdominal discomfort, bloating, hot flushes, constipation and migraines)
- improve sperm count, motility and morphology.
What is involved in a typical treatment program to optimise IVF results?
Preparation for the IVF Cycle
Essentially, Acupuncture treatment can be commenced at anytime during the IVF process. Some couples start treatment after a few unsuccessful cycles while others start well in advance.
Treatment can commence up to 3 months before starting an IVF cycle depending on what type of issues couples present with. Treatment at this stage focuses on the following where appropriate:
- addressing any diagnosed causes of sub-fertility/infertility (see below)
- balancing hormones and promoting circulation to the ovaries and uterus.
- regulating the adrenals and the nervous system
- incorporating dietary and lifestyle changes, herbs and supplements (if necessary) to enhance fertility.
In situations where there are impairments to fertility, whether diagnosed or not, various treatment protocols can be used to address the issue and therefore increase the likelihood of IVF success. Examples of conditions which can be effectively treated with Acupuncture include:
- adrenal exhaustion
- poor egg quality
- hormonal imbalances (including irregular cycles, amenorrhea, elevated FSH and low progesterone)
- endometriosis, adenomyosis, dermoid cysts and tortuous tubes
- poor uterine lining
- immunological or inflammatory conditions (including autoimmune diseases, elevated natural killer cells, anti-nuclear antibodies, anti-cardiolipin antibodies and anti-thyroid antibodies)
- male factor (including low sperm count, poor motility or morphology and anti-sperm antibodies).
During an IVF Cycle
- Commencement of drugs: Weekly Acupuncture is advised so as to maximise egg quality and numbers as well as optimising the thickness and quality of the endometrium.
- On the day of the Embryo Transfer: Acupuncture is performed before and after the procedure on the day of the embryo transfer to …..
- After embryo transfer: Acupuncture is recommended weekly throughout the first trimester to help support implantation and growth during the crucial initial stages of foetal development.