Fertility and IVF
Acupuncture for Infertility and Sub-fertility
Acupuncture is thought to aid fertility treatments by being able to:
- regulate the menstrual cycle and promote regular ovulation
- regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- improve the functions of ovaries to produce better quality eggs
- enhance the vitality of sperm
- increase the thickness of the uterine lining, encourageing successful implantation
- reduce the chance of miscarriage
Acupuncture and IVF treatment
Recent research suggests that women having acupuncture and IVF together are more likely to get pregnant as a result. Whether you are looking to improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally, or are looking for some acupuncture while going through assisted reproduction, we can help.
If you are already undergoing conventional treatment for fertility, acupuncture can be viewed as truly complementary. As well as enhancing fertility itself, acupuncture can be very helpful in reducing any unwanted side-effects of conventional medication, as well as giving your energy a boost. It is also great for calming any troubled emotions, worries or anxiety. To achieve the greatest benefit from acupuncture when combining it with IVF, three stages of treatment are carried out:
- Preparation phase during which a diagnosis is made following the principles of Chinese Medicine. Ideally, your acupuncture treatment would begin a few months prior to your IVF treatment. The aim of the treatment would be to improve and regulate your menstrual cycle, nourish the uterus and endometrium, and attempt to increase the quality of the eggs. Closer to the IVF date, the treatments given would further nourish the uterus and ovaries so that more good quality follicles can be extracted.
- Supportive phase, which begins when the woman starts taking her hormone regime. Acupuncture reduces any side-effects of conventional medication, as well as maintaining energy. It is also effective in reducing anxiety and helps to maintain a clam state.
- Embryo transfer phase. Closer to the IVF date, the treatments given further nourish the uterus and ovaries so that more good quality follicles can be extracted. A specific treatment protocol is carried out before and after the transfer to increase the chance of succesful pregnancy.
Acupuncture in Pregnancy and childbirth
Acupuncture can be extremely helpful throughout pregnancy. Morning sickness and the various aches, pains, and discomfort of pregnancy respond well to acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture can also be effective in helping to induce labour when the baby is overdue. The use of moxibustion on a particular acupuncture point has been shown to be highly effective at turning a breech foetus. Use of acupuncture and moxibustion, is extremely effective immediately after the birth, as it reduces the likelihood of developing post-natal depression and helps to restore the mother's energy and vitality.
You can access the BAcC's research centre and consult the Briefing Papers on the effectiveness of Acupuncture British Acupuncture Council
'Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis' British Medical Journal
Please note I am also a member of the Pregnancy and Birth Network in Warwickshire.