In the clinic we support both women and men with fertility problems. In Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been used to increase the changes of a pregnancy for thousands of years. Fortunately, this method is becoming more and more popular in the Western world too.
The acupuncturist’s role in fertility treatment is to help with the balance and understanding of hormones, regulate ovulation, improve cervical mucous quality, improve sex drive and to help with any gynaecological issues or conditions. In particular, an acupuncturist may assist with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances etc. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the quality of the menstrual bleed reflects the health of the uterine lining, which is crucial for implantation; Treatment aims are to increase the thickness and quality of the uterine lining to promote successful implantation. In addition, during treatment, blood flow to the ovaries may be increased, to supply nutrition to the developing follicles and increase the likelihood of ovulation.
The aim of acupuncture is to assist balancing hormones, regulating ovulation, improving cervical mucous quality, improve sex drive and to help with any gynaecological issues or conditions. In particular, an acupuncturist may assist with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, ovarian cysts & hormonal imbalances.
Treatment aims are to balance hormones, improve sperm quality, motility and concentration, and to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs.
IVF and acupuncture
We support women before and during an IVF process. Acupuncture can help to reduce the side effects of hormones, increase blood flow and reduce stress. That last part is really important, because an IVF process can be emotionally taxing. We recommended starting weekly acupuncture sessions 2 months before starting IVF drugs, where possible.
Also we recommend an acupuncture treatment within 24 hours before and after embryo transfer. This has been shown to increase the success rate of IVF by 28-32%**
PRE EMBRYO TRANSFER
For the treatment prior to the transfer, acupuncture focuses on benefiting blood flow while also calming.
POST EMBRYO TRANSFER
For the treatment after transfer of the embryo, acupuncture focuses on implantation.
* Acupuncture in conjunction with IVF has proven to benefit the following pregnancy outcomes
• Increase clinical pregnancy rates by 28-32%
• Increase ongoing pregnancy rates by 42%
• Increase live birth rates by 30%
• Decrease miscarriage rates by 43%
**References: Smith CA, Armour M, Shewamene Z, Tan HY, Norman RJ, Johnson NP. Acupuncture performed around the time of embryo transfer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online.2019;38(3):364–379.
Xie ZY, Peng ZH, Yao B, et al. The effects of acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes of in vitro fertilization: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med.2019;19(1):131.