How will acupuncture help me during my IVF?
Acupuncture has been found to be beneficial in combination with IVF treatment by:
- improving overall health,
- strengthening the immune system,
- supporting emotional well-being,
- enabling the body to better cope with the stress and challenges of fertility and pregnancy treatments.
- helping regulate hormone levels,
- improving the quality of the endometrium and pelvic blood flow,
- reducing symptoms from drug treatments,
- alleviating pain and discomfort,
- lowering the chances of miscarriage
Can Acupuncture benefit my partners sperm?
Acupuncture has been found to improve the motility of sperm by improving its zinc:cadmium ratio. Zinc improves sperm motility whereas cadmium causes thicker semen, thereby slowing the sperm.
SOD, an antioxidant which increases both sperm count and motility is also positively influenced by acupuncture. Furthermore, acupuncture can increase levels of metenkephalin (an opioid which allows sperm to remain mobile for longer) in sperm. Therefore, acupuncture around the female’s ovulation may increase the chance of conception.
Acupuncture has been shown to increase the percentage of sperm with normal morphology. Sperm takes between 70 – 90 days to fully mature, with some studies showing positive results after only 5 weeks (bi-weekly treatments). Improving morphology with acupuncture has also been shown to improve the fertilisation rate using Intercytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI, an IVF procedure).
I am new to acupuncture what will it entail?
- Your first consult will be for 60 minutes and will include a through history taking, discussions about your specific condition, what to expect during your acupuncture and a treatment plan specific to you.
- In this first consult you will have your first acupuncture. This will consist of needles inserted into the body, cupping, moxa, electro acupuncture and may incorporate relaxation and visualization techniques to help get you into a deep state of relaxation. (The acupuncture needles are nothing at all like hypodermic needles but are extremely thin, sterile, single use needles that should not be painful).
- You will also be prescribed homeopathic and herbal medication, dietary and lifestyle changes as well as supplements.
- Subsequent visits take 30 minutes.
Benefits: After your treatment you may feel very relaxed, and most people report getting a good night’s sleep!
When should I start Acupuncture?
Weekly or fortnightly
2-3 times prior to egg collection, e.g., day 3, 6, and 9
Acupuncture before and after egg collection i.e twice
Twice on the day – one treatment before and one treatment after (pre and post)
Once or twice a week until the blood test result confirms pregnancy
Weekly acupuncture through to week 12 of the pregnancy.
Steps for a successful IVF
Step 1 – Consultation with your doctors
Before anything else, you will need to book a personal consultation with Dr Wolf. From this, we will make the decision together about which treatment is best for you, and talk you through any questions you may have at this point.
Step 2: – Ovarian stimulation
Once you have started your IVF treatment of stimulating egg production in the ovaries using fertility medication, Dr Wolf will use acupuncture to help recruit follicles during late luteal / early follicular phase. Acupuncture treatment during this time may improve follicular recruitment, quality and size, thickness and quality of the endometrium lining.
Step 3 – Ovulation-induction
Around 36 hours after you have taken the ovulation induction medication, you will be ready for the retrieval of the egg. Acupuncture between hCG trigger (ovulation induction) and egg retrieval may help with final egg maturation.
Step 4 – Collecting the egg and sperm
Collecting the eggs can take around 30 minutes, and is done via an ultrasound to guide a needle into one of the ovaries, and extract the eggs from the ovarian follicles. A sperm sample is usually also provided on the day of the egg collection to fertilise the egg through IVF alone, or using ICSI. Acupuncture may reduce pain during egg retrieval procedure if needed
Step 5 – Fertilisation
Once the eggs and sperm have been successfully collected, the eggs are fertilised with the sperm. The fertilisation will form embryos, which are then grown carefully until they are ready to be placed into the uterus. No acupuncture is required at this time
Step 6 – Embryo transfer
Once the embryos are at the correct development stage, a specialist will transfer them into the uterus. Acupuncture
on the day of embryo transfer usually done before and after transfer may aid reduction of uterine contractions and reduction of stress thus ensuring that the uterus “holds” the embryo.
Step 7 – Wait for two weeks
Acupuncture during implantation window (days 4–8
post egg retrieval) may help with embryo implantation.
Step 8 – The pregnancy test
10-16 days after your embryo transfer, a routine pregnancy test is performed. If the test comes back negative, Dr Wolf will be here to provide support, and answer any questions you may have, or just give you a shoulder to lean on.
What other treatments will be prescibed for me?
Nutrition and dietary changes specific to you will be advised for you best fertility
Stress reduction, exercise, weight loss advice as well as medication to modulate these be prescribed
Certain supplements will be prescribed that support fertility i.e. egg production and maturation and adaquate lining a
Homeopathic medications specific to your condition will be prescribe to help you to achieve your best fertility atate
What are the benefits of Acupuncture?
Stimulates the bodies natural healing
Effectively treats pain
Helps physical and mental wellbeing
Provides long lasting benefits
"Treating the whole you"
Is Acupuncture for IVF validated by research?
Acupuncture may have an impact on the outcome rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth;
Acupuncture improves the clinical pregnancy rate among women undergoing IVF
Would you like to book an appointment ?
Would you like to find out how Dr Wolf can help you?