Acupuncture & IVF
LET'S WORK TOGETHER
You can put your trust in our hand picked, compassionate and caring team.
Our practitioners are all qualified Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine and have extensive postgraduate training and experience in Chinese Reproductive Medicine and IVF support and are trained in the Fertile Life Method. You can be assured you’re are in the best possible hands on your fertility journey.
We believe that acupuncture is an essential part of your IVF journey and can offer benefits beyond just the day of embryo transfer. To fully experience the positive effects of acupuncture on the body's reproductive system, we recommend that people start their acupuncture treatments as early as possible. By beginning your IVF preparation three months in advance, you can optimize the health of your eggs, uterus, and sperm, giving yourself the best chance for success. We're here to support you every step of the way and help you achieve your dream of starting or growing your family.
We believe in integrative care with Western Medicine, we work alongside your other health care providers, including your IVF specialist.
The success rates for in-vitro or other medically assisted fertility treatments remain disheartening, yet when used in conjunction with a Chinese Medicine based treatment plan like Fertile Life Method there is a distinct increase in the likelihood of conception.
A meta-analysis of seven clinical trials in which acupuncture was used to support embryo transfer during IVF has concluded that it improves rates of pregnancy and live birth. Dutch and American researchers analysed results from seven clinical trials and showed that women who underwent acupuncture were 65% more likely to have a successful embryo transfer procedure and 91% more likely to have a live birth. (Effects of review and meta- analysis. BMJ. 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9.)
Working together with your doctor, your Fertile Life Practitioner will assist in the preparation and duration of your IVF cycles. Each of our acupuncture IVF sessions work in conjunction with your individual IVF treatment. IVF Acupuncture can be integrated with your own medical care, and will give you emotional balance and self-confidence, along with improved health and well-being throughout this intense time.
IVF and Chinese Medicine complement each other, and this is the motivating force behind our desire for integrated fertility care. IVF gets the sperm and egg together and it does this extremely well, but it offers little influence in how the cells divide and create life. This potential was set during the preconception period (months leading up to fertilisation).
Fertile Life Method supports this process by optimising the health potential of each partner, which includes the egg and sperm. We do not try to override this process but rather support it. IVF purposely overrides it in order to stimulate as many follicles as possible. Firstly, Fertile Life will get your body into a healthy and balanced state, optimising your fertility with the goal of your egg/sperm reaching their fertility potential. This allows a receptive and nutrient rich uterine environment to nourish and support the developing baby through the 9 months of pregnancy. Then, IVF takes it’s turn to bring egg and sperm together, and also to help pick the best "looking" embryo/blastocyst (sometimes testing with PGD etc. to make sure there are no chromosomal abnormalities – again to help choose the best potential for a healthy baby), and then transfer that back into a welcoming uterine environment (using Acupuncture to help with blood flow and implantation).
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.(1)
A basic approach – pre and post embryo acupuncture treatments:
Acupuncture treatment is recommended within 24hrs before and after embryo transfer.
For the treatment prior to transfer, Acupuncture is thought to increase the arterial blood flow to the uterus to nourish and support the endometrium, move Qi (energy flow) and blood, as well as create physical and mental relaxation for the woman prior to the transfer.
For the treatment after transfer, Acupuncture treatment is used to create a calm environment in the uterus and minimise any discomfort or cramping from the transfer procedure. Acupuncture points are selected that will support healthy implantation of the embryo and also improve the health of the blood flow and tissue of endometrium to support a pregnancy. (2)
OUR PREFERRED WHOLISTIC APPROACH
At Fertile Life™, the wholistic approach of our Fertility Life Method is our preference. It is more aligned with the wholistic principles of Chinese Medicine and treats the person. This comprehensive approach helps to prepare your body for IVF by addressing your whole health and the complex issues that may be affecting your fertility.
We then recommend Acupuncture treatment three months prior to IVF, 4 days after transfer to further assist implantation, then weekly until 12 weeks gestation. By continuing to stimulate blood flow to the blastocyst, Acupuncture helps to maintain the health and strength of the blastocyst-corpus-luteum relationship, thereby maintaining the proper level of progesterone. Then, after six weeks, your placenta takes over the role of secreting progesterone. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to the placenta helping it to do its job of protecting and nourishing your growing baby.
Don't worry if you are about to start an IVF cycle we can still absolutely help, let us help you take the first step to increasing your fertility.
Our trained fertility practitioners assist you at each stage during your IVF cycle to maximise hormone balancing and cycle regulation, egg development, increase sperm and the healthy building of the endometrial lining. 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. (1)(3)(4)
It is important to note that the Fertile Life's preferred approach is to have acupuncture for 3 months prior to IVF or assisted fertility. (4)
*(Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9.)
1 Sparrow Kristen and Golianu Brenda. Does Acupuncture Reduce Stress Over Time? A Clinical Heart Rate Variability Study in Hypertensive Patients, Medical Acupuncture. October 2014, 26(5): 286-294. doi:10.1089/acu.2014.1050 http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acu.2014.1050
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962314/ - Cochrane, S., Smith, C. A., Possamai-Inesedy, A. & Bensoussan, A., Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health, International Journal of Women’s Health, 2014:6 313–325
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911598 - Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in-vitro fertilization outcomes.Hullender Rubin LE1, Opsahl MS2, Wiemer KE2, Mist SD3, Caughey AB3.
(4) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028210010319 - Buck Louis GM et al, Stress Reduces Conception Probabilities Across the Fertile Window: Evidence in Support of Relaxation, Fertil Steril, 2011, 95, 7, pg2184-2189. Fertility and Sterility