Acupuncture and IVF
Acupuncture has been used to optimize fertility for over 2000 years. Recent clinical studies show that combining acupuncture with your IVF can:
- Optimize your chances of implantation and full-term births
- Reduce stress and help you relax before and during IVF
- Minimize symptoms associated with ART treatment
When to begin acupuncture…
It is ideal to begin acupuncture treatment 3 months prior to your IVF cycle. This time is most important when we need to affect and improve egg quality. If there are other reproductive concerns then we may need more or less time to make the appropriate changes. At Reproductive Wellness, we often get calls with a month or less until the IVF procedure, with the question “Do we have enough time to make a difference”? If we are working to improve the success rates of the upcoming cycle, improve the receptivity of the uterus, improve the health of your endometrial lining and assist in managing your stress levels during the cycle, then there is usually enough time. Our suggestion is to call our San Diego Acupuncture office to meet with one of our specialists to determine if this is the right path for you. If you are living outside of San Diego you can find a trained acupuncturist in your area by going to The American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine website (aborm.org) to find a certified fellow you can trust.
In one study 114 women with similar fertility profiles undergoing IVF were divided into two groups. 53 received acupuncture and 61 did not. The acupuncture group experienced no ectopic pregnancy (non-acupuncture group had 9%), less miscarriages (acupuncture group had 8%, non-acupuncture group 20%) and 51% pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group versus 36% pregnancy rate in the non-acupuncture group.
Get Acupuncture Before and After Embryo Transfer
Two studies have shown an increase of IVF success when done around the time of embryo transfer. The first study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that live birth rates doubled for those who used electro-acupuncture (also known as TEAS – transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation). The non-acupuncture group had 21% live birth rate and the acupuncture groups live birth rate was 42%.
Additionally, acupuncture regulates fertility hormones, which may contribute to follicle development and increased implantation. We prescribe two treatments per week for four weeks before egg retrieval plus treatment at the time of embryo transfer to optimize your results.
Reproductive Wellness and our San Diego Acupuncture and Functional Medicine team offer you a natural way to optimize your fertility during the critical 3-6 months before conception. Our preconception program combines diet therapy, lifestyle counseling, mind & body techniques, herbal formulas, and acupuncture, all designed to balance your hormones and boost your overall health and well-being. The preconception program can help you enhance your fertility naturally or ensure that your body is in the best condition to conceive before you try IVF.