Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to treat infertility both for men and women for a few thousand years. Recently a number of clinical studies show that acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment can increase the likelihood of conception, by improving the thickness of the uterine lining, the follicle development and the quality of the eggs.
Using In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) alone, women have a 1 in 4 chance of falling pregnant. A recent review of acupuncture’s effect on IVF treatment in the British Medical Journal stated that acupuncture could increase a woman’s chance of pregnancy by 65%. At the same time, Acupuncture IVF is safe and no adverse effects were reported.
In our clinic, acupuncture IVF support program is based on these evidence-based protocols. Our kind and experienced practitioners will design treatment plans to suit your individual needs.
Our practitioners help couples undergoing IVF in a number of ways:
- Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs;
- Balance fertility hormones e.g. FSH, LH and Oestrogen;
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining;
- Help with emotions such as anxiety and stress;
- Reduce the side effects of drugs used in IVF;
- Promote successful implantation;
- Support a sustained pregnancy;
- Improve the quality and quantity of sperm
Prior to Starting Your IVF Cycle
Acupuncture & Chinese herbs prior to starting your IVF cycle helps balance your body including regulating your cycle, assisting with ovulation and improving semen quality and quantity. To create a flourishing garden, first we imbue the earth with nutrients & moisten the mulch, and then we till the soil. We do these things before we plant the seeds.
We recommend that once or twice weekly acupuncture treatments for 4-6 weeks prior to IVF medication to prepare your body. This procedure is the same prior to frozen embryo transfers. However, if you have missed this window, do not worry. Our practitioners will assess and recommend an individualized treatment plan for you. We believe your own reproductive and overall health are the foundations of a successful IVF program, a sustained pregnancy and a healthy baby.
During the Stimulation Phase
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help the ovaries respond better to the stimulation drugs by producing more follicles and good quality eggs. It can also thicken the lining of the uterus to prepare for the transfer of embryos and reduce the side-effects of the drugs.
We recommend once or twice weekly acupuncture treatments during this phase.
After egg collection
After egg collection, IVF acupuncture can reduce any local tissue trauma or bleeding and help prepare a better environment for the arrival of an embryo.
We recommend one treatment 1~2 days after the egg collection.
On the day of embryo transfer (including for frozen embryo transfers)
Research has shown very positive results having one session of acupuncture before embryo transfer and one after transfer. These treatments show an increase of both clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates.
We recommend two acupuncture treatments before and after embryo transfers within 24 hours.
After embryo transfer
Acupuncture during this period potentially supports the implantation process, keeps your energy up and mind calm.
We recommend 2-3 treatments between the time of embryo transfer and the pregnancy test. If your pregnancy test is positive, we would strongly recommend ongoing treatments throughout your first trimester.
IVF acupuncture for men
Acupuncture & Chinese herbs can increase sperm motility and quantity as well as decrease their abnormal forms. For some men whose semen have no sperm and who may require a testicular biopsy as part of the IVF procedures, acupuncture can help the production of their sperm.
We recommend once or twice weekly acupuncture treatments for 4-6 weeks prior to sperm donation and 1 treatment before sperm donation on the donation day to reduce anxiety and increase blood flow to the genital area.