Acupuncture and IVF

Acupuncture and IVF
When you are going through IVF it is not only an emotional roller coaster ride but also can be financially draining. You are looking for everything to help boost your chances of getting pregnant. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat infertility and now it used as an integrative approach for women undergoing assisted fertility treatments such as IUI and IVF.
One study done showed 42.5% of women who were undergoing acupuncture and IVF get pregnant compared to the control group of 21.3% pregnancy rate who did not receive acupuncture pre and post transfer.

How Does Acupuncture Work With IVF?

Acupuncture helps to correct imbalances in the reproductive system that may be impeding a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.  Therefore, the most optimal time to start acupuncture is 2-3 months before undergoing IVF to help correct those imbalances and support the reproductive system thus enabling a healthier uterine environment for IVF. Once a woman is undergoing IVF, acupuncture helps to:
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus which is important for implantation
  • Stimulate follicle growth
  • Reduce Stress
  • Build A Healthy Uterine Lining

Acupuncture During Follicular-Stimulating Stage

Ideally, I see patients twice during their stimulation phase.  This is when follicle stimulating drugs are administered to enhance follicle growth.  The main goal is to produce a good amount of eggs and good quality eggs.  Acupuncture during this time helps to support the reproductive system and stimulates follicular growth.

Acupuncture During Retrieval Stage

During the retrieval, when the eggs are retrieved from the ovaries to be fertilized, I like to see patients before their retrieval for acupuncture. This helps to bring blood flow to the ovaries and remove any obstructions such as dampness or blood stasis to help fertilization take place.

Acupuncture During Transfer Stage

This is normally the time of anxiety.  It is finally here to transfer the fertilized eggs.  I see patients before their transfer and then 24 to 48 hours after their transfer.  Acupuncture given before transfer enables blood flow to the uterus, helps to relax the patient thus relaxing muscles and priming the uterine environment for implantation.

A post transfer treatment helps to reduce uterine spasms, thus supporting implantation.

If you want more information or have specific questions, please call our office at 917.763.8560 to schedule a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation.

References:Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril 2002; 77: 721-4.

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