You can commence treatment at any point in your IVF cycle but for optimum results it is recommended to start your treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbs at least 3-4 months prior, to prepare for IVF.  My treatment plan is a holistic and integrative IVF support programme.

Regular Acupuncture also helps to reduce the effects of stress, as well as the side effects of any drug medications that you might be taking during your IVF cycle.

Acupuncture & Chinese medicine may support the IVF process by:

  • - Stabilising the hormones of the menstrual cycle
  • - Improving ovarian and uterine blood flow
  • - Promoting ovulation and improving egg quality
  • - Improving quality and thickness of the endometrium
  • - Supporting the luteal phase (progesterone)
  • - Facilitating embryo implantation and preventing miscarriage
  • - Improving sperm count, motility and morphology
  • - Decreasing stress and anxiety levels

TREATMENT PROTOCOLS FOR IVF

1)      Acupuncture before and during the medication phase of IVF

1-2 treatments per week for 4 weeks plus treatment at time of transfer.

To improve follicle development, reduce side effects of the medications and improve the uterine lining. 

2) Acupuncture after egg collection 

1 treatment after the procedure or within the following two days

It is recommended that IVF patients have acupuncture treatment after egg collection, to reduce any local tissue trauma, bleeding or cramping, to reduce stress and to help prepare the environment for the arrival of an embryo.

3)     Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer (including frozen embryo transfer)

Before and after transfer – 2 treatments

Circulates blood to the uterus and calms the mind – before transfer.  Prevents uterine cramping, increased implantation success, reduces the change of miscarriage and calms anxiety – after transfer.

This treatment is based on protocols used in clinical trials which showed an increase in pregnancy rates for specific groups of women with expected pregnancy rates of 30% or less.

Studies have shown that acupuncture of the day of transfer (before and after) can increase the probability of a positive pregnancy test.

4)     Acupuncture weekly after transfer

Reduces risk of miscarriage, reduces stress and anxiety and supports your developing embryo.

5)     Acupuncture at any phase of the IVF cycle

1-2 Treatments per week as needed

Acupuncture can be used to manage side-effects of the treatment and to reduce anxiety.

Some side-effects of treatment may include fatigue, mood swings, abdominal swelling and discomfort.

At the clinic I aim to also nurture the emotional aspects, which are equally as important during the IVF process. 

A recent systematic review notes that “acupuncture improves the CPR [clinical pregnancy rates] among women undergoing IVF”.

It is important to note CPR is not that same as ‘live birth rate’ (that is, having a baby).

Qian, et al, Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization:  a systematic review and meta-analysis, Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, March 2017, Volume 295, Issue 3, pp 543-558