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IVF Acupuncture

January 31, 2017

IVF Acupuncture

The desire to have a child is innate.

No one makes you want a child, it just is a feeling a person feels from within. For some, it seems to be quite an easy process but for many there can be challenges in all shapes and sizes. For today’s post I’ll focus more on the inability to conceive and how complementary medicines such as acupuncture can help. Typically, when a couple try for a period of time without successfully falling pregnant concern usually leads them to the GP’s office. This in turn leads them down the route of a fertility specialist. A fertility specialist will typically run tests and see if there is a physical reason as to why a pregnancy isn’t easily achieved. For some couples, this can be useful to identify reproductive health issues in either the man or woman or possibly both. For others, there may be no answers provided but simply, “there is no reason for your infertility, however IVF may be able to help you”. Every couple tells me, “We never thought IVF was going to be necessary for us”, or “we never thought that was the way we were going to fall pregnant” and its true. I have yet to hear a couple pleased to do IVF, but how about we flip it around and say that it has opened the doors for those couples to conceive when it would have been absolutely impossible to do so without it. As a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, I don’t think every patient doing IVF is essential. Some patients do it out of fear, thinking it will quickly solve their fertility issue, but for some it can be a huge help especially for women with blocked tubes or men with very poor quality sperm. So, if you are thinking about doing IVF, what can you do to better improve your success rates? Here is a list what couples can do prior to starting a cycle:

  • Have a cleanse and detoxify the body of toxins.
  • Eat a clean, anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Eliminate caffeine, sugar, alcohol, fatty foods and processed foods.
  • Meditation or another relaxation technique is great for daily practise.
Here is a list what Acupuncture can do:
  • Scientifically proven to improve success rates in patients who received acupuncture on the day of Embryo Transfer (ET), Fertility and Sterility, Volume 85, Issue 5, May 2006, Pages 1341-1346. There are many journal papers of this but this is just one.
    • Note: In this paper they mentioned there was no significant difference in outcome in the group that receive acupuncture on the the day of ET to the group that had an additional treatment 2 days after. The reason is that acupuncture continues working for 3 days so there is no need to have a treatment 2 days after. You can have a treatment 1 week after to help with a potential pregnancy.
  • See an acupuncturist at least 3 months prior to starting IVF. I have seen Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine), improve egg quality (patient gets more eggs and increased fertilisation), addresses menstrual irregularities, reproductive disorders such as endometriosis, PCOS can be improved on some level to assist IVF outcomes, sperm quality in men (for men with very poor quality 6 months would be better), and many more.
Each individual is different and it is important each couple is given accurate information and not to be mislead with false hope. It is an industry where some may take advantage of a couple with a strong desire to conceive so do you due diligence and ask questions before starting treatment. Also check that your practitioner is registered with AHPRA.

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