In eastern cultures, acupuncture has been used as a means to help increase fertility. In recent years the use of acupuncture to support couples going through fertility treatment such as IVF has become widespread. Studies show that it can increase the success rate by between 30-50%. Often women come because they have had unsuccessful IVF cycles before and are looking to try something different. Occasionally they get pregnant naturally in the lead up to their cycle. I see this in my clinic on a regular basis.
In 2018 70% of my IVF patients had a positive pregnancy test.
In 2017 78.57% had a positive pregnancy test.
In 2016, 77.77% had a positive pregnancy test.
In 2015, 79.81% had a positive pregnancy test.
How acupuncture can benefit women having IVF
Acupuncture can help with IVF treatment in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally.
Clinical trials demonstrate with ultrasound, that fertility acupuncture increases blood flow to the pelvic organs such as the uterus and ovaries. This may help with follicle development and increase the chances of implantation.
For me, an important benefit of acupuncture, is that it is very effective at relieving stress, which has been shown to have a detrimental effect on all of our body systems. In the treatment room there is plenty of time and space to talk and offload. I can often explain proceedures etc and answer any questions you may have in relation to your treatment. The fertility clinics are busy places and it is sometimes hard to take everything in.
How I use Acupuncture alongside IVF
Acupuncture is used to help prepare the body prior to a couple starting IVF and then throughout the whole procedure.
Prior to commencement of treatment: It is beneficial to attend for regular sessions leading up to starting treatment. This may include preparing the body for IVF by beginning acupuncture at least a month ahead, but there are many benefits to be had whenever a woman starts treatment.
During IVF: Treatment is recommended which supports where you are in the IVF process, this is usually weekly during down-regulation and twice weekly during stimulation. Specific treatments are given pre and post embryo transfer.
Pregnancy: Acupuncture during pregnancy is a safe supportive treatment.
Zita West and her team run a highly successful, world renowned IVF clinic in London. In response to Zita’s clients enquiring whether she or her team could recommend an acupuncturist in their area (they see clients from all over the UK and abroad); they set up the affiliated acupuncturist network in 2007 in order to train in her style, experienced acupuncturists with a particular interest in fertility.
As a founding member of this network I have been trained in this holistic approach of trying to achieve optimum reproductive health. I employ the acupuncture protocols employed at her clinic, as well as using other techniques that I learnt from my many post graduate courses. As affiliates, we receive regular training and updates, and use an ‘on-line’ forum to share our ‘in-practice’ experiences. I have lectured to other acupuncturists on our study days.
I am a recommended acupuncturist with Midland Fertility Cinic now known as IVI and CARE Fertility Birmingham and a member of theAcupuncture Fertility Network.
Please feel free to call and ask any questions you may have.