Recent research has shown that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can greatly enhance the success of ART procedures including Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and IVF with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Many reproductive endocrinologists and fertility clinics in the United States are now incorporating acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other natural therapies as a standard component of IVF protocols to improve treatment success. In fact, Harvard Medical School research has found that take-home baby rates increase from 20 to 55 percent when complementing traditional fertility treatments with acupuncture, and an integrated mind, body and spirit approach to treatment.
Orchid Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture offers treatment programs that can help to increase the response and success of all forms of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Studies have found that acupuncture can increase blood flow in the uterus and ovaries creating a more suitable and fertile environment for mature follicles to both develop and implant. Additionally, treating the male at the same time can improve sperm counts, motility, and morphology. Our treatments can also be effective in reducing the stress and side effects associated with fertility treatments.
For patients who are pursuing IVF and IUI, we offer the following support:
Pre-Conception Preparation with Acupuncture
We offer a mind/body approach to your fertility journey and incorporate Chinese medicine with diet and lifestyle recommendations to optimize the outcome while using ART and improve menstrual irregularities and issues.
Ideally, we recommend a minimum of three months of treatment prior to embryo transfer or insemination to optimally address follicular quality and sperm health; follicles have a 90-120 maturation period, while sperm have a 90-day development period before being released for fertilization. This treatment plan starts several months before the IVF/IUI cycle to optimize overall health, improve hormonal balance, increase blood production and flow to the uterus and ovaries, and reduce stress.
Acupuncture During IVF or IUI
Orchid Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture offers treatment protocols designed to complement each phase of an IVF or IUI cycle. The goal of treatment during this time is to:
- Improve blood flow to the uterus and ovaries to improve response to stimulation
- Thicken uterine lining to encourage implantation
- Decrease uterine cramping to encourage implantation and reduce miscarriage
- Decrease cortisol and reduce stress levels to improve LH and progesterone production
Pre and Post Transfer Treatments
We recommend patients schedule treatment within 24 hours before and within 24-48 hours after their embryo transfer. Research into the use of acupuncture with IVF shows a clear increase in rates of conception and live births in women who receive acupuncture before and after their IVF, as compared to those who have IVF only, with no acupuncture treatment.
Treatment with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer has been demonstrated by the meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Medicine to improve IVF success rates by 65%, continued pregnancy rates by 82% and improve live birth rates by 91%.
The goal of this treatment is to relax the patient (less stress produces higher pregnancy rates), improve blood flow to the uterus to promote higher implantation rates, decrease uterine spasms and cramping to improve implantation rates, and decrease the incidence of miscarriage.
Acupuncture in Early Pregnancy
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be very effective in preventing miscarriage and establishing a healthy pregnancy. We suggest that patients continue weekly treatment through their first trimester of pregnancy.
For further reading and research, visit: www.acupunctureivf.com.au