Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In recent years more reproductive endocrinologists recommend fertility acupuncture for patients undergoing assisted reproductive technology. These fertility procedures include IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer). Studies have shown that women that undergo acupuncture before IVF (in vitro fertilization) have higher success rates. The question is how can acupuncture assist these procedures and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth?

Acupuncture is known to improve blood flow. Stress and aging can contribute to a decrease in blood flow to the reproductive organs. An increase in blood flow can assist in the response to fertility medication and the quality of the eggs. It increases the thickness of the uterine lining, which is very important for successful implantation of the embryo and a successful pregnancy. Healthy circulation ensures proper flow of hormones throughout the reproductive cycle.

Acupuncture reduces stress and anxiety. Undergoing fertility treatment can be very stressful. During acupuncture there is a release of endorphins, the body’s own natural pain killers. This causes the muscles to relax, breathing to slow down and the mind to relax. It improves overall wellness, digestion, reduces inflammation, corrects imbalances and aids in better sleep.

Most of the focus during IVF (in vitro fertilization) is on receiving acupuncture pre and post embryo transfer. It relaxes the uterus, reduces stress by decreasing cortisol levels and calms anxiety. It increases the effectiveness and reduces the side effects of fertility medicine. Post embryo transfer acupuncture relaxes the uterus and decreases spasms. While this has definite benefits, to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth, it is best to start acupuncture treatment at least three to six months prior to IVF, IUI or any other assisted reproductive technology that you might be undergoing. The effectiveness of acupuncture is cumulative and time is needed to get your body and hormones optimally balanced. I work with you and your doctors to support you every step of the way.

Acupuncture is but one of the treatments I use that is available in traditional Chinese medicine. When treating fertility issues, whether you are trying to fall pregnant naturally or with assisted reproductive technology, I treat the underlying cause and assist the body to regain balance (homeostasis). This can only be achieved by addressing the whole person, body, mind and spirit. I use a variety of modalities to achieve this holistic approach, including acupuncture, moxa, homeopathy, chinese herbs, western herbs and supplements, nutritional and lifestyle advice.

During the first consultation, a very thorough review of your medical history is taken, including your blood work and any tests to date. I review the blood work from a functional medicine doctor’s perspective, meaning I often pick up things that need to be corrected. This treatment is holistic and it works. I have a special interest and passion for women’s health and fertility. Please see some of the testimonies on my website.

In summary, treatment at Acupuncture and Homeopathy Clinic will benefit your chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth. It can reduce stress and anxiety, help you sleep better, regulate your hormones, regulate ovulation, ensure good quality eggs and blood flow to the ovaries, increase the circulation to the uterus and optimize the uterine lining for embryo implantation.