The IVF Process
Acupuncture can be an effective, low stress procedure that can help increase women during assisted conception. Detailed below are the specific treatment protocols used during the IVF process.
Setting the internal environment for the body for egg collection and embryo transfer is very important. Clinical trials show that acupuncture increases blood supply to uterus and ovaries and regulate fertility hormones which may contribute to follicle development and increased implantation.
Acupuncture can be used to help any side effects you might experience during the IVF process and reduce anxiety. Reduced fatigue, moodiness, abdomen swelling and discomfort and other side effects are reported by many women using acupuncture during their IVF cycle. In addition women report greater relaxation and control of anxiety.
Before and After Egg Collection
Acupuncture is performed in the days after egg collection, to reduce any local tissue trauma or bleeding. It also helps to prepare a calm environment for the arrival of an embryo in 3 or 5 days time.
Before/After Embryo transfer
Research has shown acupuncture performed at the right stage, can have significant benefit. The chance of the embryo implanting successfully, resulting in pregnancy, increased significantly if a woman underwent acupuncture around the same time as the transfer. Most clinical trials demonstrated a significantly increased chance of pregnancy (30%) after the administration of 2 acupuncture treatments, one before and one after the embryo transfer.
Acupuncture treatment in this stage helps increase blood supply to uterus and ovaries and regulate fertility hormones which may contribute to follicle development and increased implantation. Clinical trials were based on patients where the treatment was conducted within a few hours before and after transfer. Tom is available 6 days per week, and takes Sunday appointments by prior arrangement for our patients having out of hours transfers.
Acupuncture research shows increase in sperm count and motility, and a decrease in abnormal formation after a course of acupuncture. The pressure to produce a sperm sample on the day of egg collection can be significant enough to cause a problem, acupuncture however reduces anxiety and can increase blood flow to the genital area to help produce a good sample.
Acupuncture offers a simple and easy method of improving men’s fertility. Sperm count can be raised, and motility increased.
PCOS and Endometriosis
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing the pain and inflammation of PCOS and endometriosis. If you have PCOS or Endometriosis and are trying to conceive naturally or planning to do IVF, you can benefit from doing a course of acupuncture over 3 to 4 months to improve ovary function and egg quality.
For those PCOS patients who do IVF, certain acupuncture protocols during the stimulation phase and after embryo transfer will reduce the risk of hyperstimulation.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Improvements in physical and mental health including better sleep and improvements in mood and self-confidence are all very important when trying to conceive. While stress has no impact on the actual meeting of the sperm and egg, it can impact on the individual and also relationships. Acupuncture is an excellent modality to assist in reducing stress, a key issue for many couples struggling with infertility.