Research suggests that acupuncture improves IVF rates.
Planning to start a family is one of the most exciting - and nerve wracking - decisions that we ever make. Some women are lucky enough to become pregnant with ease whilst others find that they need more support to help them reach their dreams of parenthood. Roughly 10% of women find it difficult to become pregnant naturally within a year of trying. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one treatment that many women have found to be helpful to achieve their dreams of becoming a parent. Undergoing a cycle of IVF however is not a guarantee of success and the process can be emotionally draining, expensive and has a 25-30% success rate per cycle.
Many women decide to combine IVF treatment with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment to improve the chance of the IVF success.
There is a large and growing body of evidence to suggest that acupuncture both reduces the stress of IVF treatment as well as boosting the efficacy of IVF treatment. In this article we will discover how traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) maximises the chance of IVF treatment succeeding. We will also describe the different treatments that will support you along every stage of your IVF journey.
How will TCM help my IVF succeed?
It will keep you relaxed
One large scale study demonstrated that women undergoing IVF treatment who also received acupuncture described a number of psychological benefits including increased relaxation, reduced psychological stress, and enhanced well-being. Some of the women involved with the study describe here how the treatment made them feel:
“I just felt it reduced my stress levels and probably gave me a bit more energy than I might have had. It’s always hard to tell because you know I’m quite resilient and I can cope with a lot of stuff anyway, but I had a lot of stuff going on at work and (after acupuncture) I felt I was much better able to cope with things.”
Another patient described her experience in this way: “I’m still on a psychological advantage…and I’m still lying down in a relaxing environment and taking some time out and all of those things are helpful.”
It will improve the number and quality of your eggs – and increase pregnancy rates
Another study demonstrated that TCM increased the number and quality of eggs that were retrieved. The study also found that:
- The number of fertilised eggs increased
- A greater number of high quality embryos were created
- The implantation rate improved
- The pregnancy rate also improved.
It increased pregnancy rates and significantly reduced anxiety
This study observed that acupuncture treatment before and after embryo transfer significantly increased the pregnancy rates in women with unexplained infertility. It was also found that acupuncture significantly reduced anxiety levels that occurred before embryo transfer.
Best time for acupuncture during IVF
It is best to start to prepare your body for the rigours of IVF as early as possible. This will help to build up your energy, prepare your eggs and ensure that you are in the most positive mindset possible. An ideal timeframe for starting TCM treatment is three months before you start the course of IVF treatment.
Here’s what to expect:
Months 1-3 before IVF treatment
During the initial three month treatment period your TCM practitioner and you will work together on relaxing your body and reducing its production of stress hormones. We will also work on boosting your natural fertility and ensure that the meridians of energy that flow around your reproductive organs are unblocked and flowing strongly. This in turn will boost the flow of Blood and nourishment which will support the development of high quality eggs.
Whilst you undergo IVF treatment
The TCM practitioner will focus on prepare the body condition to the best for IVF, by stimulate specific acupuncture points, the points are usually located on lower abdomen, arms and legs. This treatment will help to ensure that the flow of Qi – our internal vital energy – is unblocked and optimised. You may also receive Moxa treatment , these treatments helps:
- Increasing the number of eggs that are retrieved
- Enhancing the ovarian response to FSH stimulation
- Improve the flow of blood to the pelvic area, ovaries and uterus
- Thickening the endometrial lining – vital for successful embryo implantation
Post egg transfer / Insemination
Many women find this time to be a particularly stressful and emotional time. Here at GinSen we focus our treatments on helping to reduce stress and promoting relaxation. Our practitioners offer understanding and will be there for you at this difficult time. In addition to the expert TCM care that they provide they will also offer you a friendly and confidential ear. Treatments will now focus on:
- Maintaining implantation
- Stimulating the blood flow to the uterus. This ensures that the embryo is supplied with an optimum level of nourishment and also reduces uterine contractility.
- Gentle nourishment of your Qi.
What is the best time to start Chinese Medicine treatment during IVF ?
- Start as soon as possible – preferably three months before you start the IVF cycle.
- Acupuncture can be used during a down regulation cycle. At this time acupuncture points are chosen to complement the medication. Acupuncture at this time will relax and rebalance you and prepare your body ready for the next phase.
- If you are mid IVF cycle, TCM treatment before egg retrieval will help to relax your mind as well your muscles and tendons in your pelvis by improving the flow of blood to your pelvis.
- This large scale study show improved IVF success rates when combined with Acupuncture before and after an embryo transfer.
What else can I do to help my body prepare for IVF?
In addition to undertaking a course of acupuncture one of the most helpful things that you can do to help your body prepare for IVF is to take some natural herbal formulas. These have been tried and tested over centuries and will optimise your health and wellbeing at this challenging time.
Our IVF Preparation Kit is a 100% natural remedy that improves egg quality and helps to boost the lining of your uterus. The formula naturally supports regular menstrual cycles and is ideal for anyone who wishes to increase the chance of their IVF working.
GinSen’s Eggs and Infertility Kit is ideal for anyone who is looking to conceive naturally. It improves the quality of eggs and increases IVF success rates. The Kit consists of food-based supplements based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine that will help to optimise the quality of your eggs.
Our Uterus Maintenance supplements help with fertility related issues caused by difficulties in implantation. These natural supplements work to thicken the uterine lining for implantation and prepare the body for pregnancy. They have been expertly formulated to increase the chances of conceiving naturally and increasing IVF success rates.
For more information about how Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can support you on your IVF journey, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.