IVF and Acupuncture – A Winning Combination
IVF is a major undertaking.
By the time one has reached this point in their fertility journey, you are considering everything that can be done to improve fertility. Preparation for a successful IVF cycle has the following goals:
- Boost ovarian response – better eggs
- Improve uterine environment – greater implantation
- Set the stage for a healthy and successful pregnancy
Many health concerns can dramatically impact one’s ability to get pregnant, such as:
- High FSH
- Low AMH
- Low ovarian reserve
- Painful periods
- Light periods
- Thin endometrial lining
- Repeat Pregnancy loss (RPL)
- Thyroid issues
- Immune issues
- Digestive issues
Finding strategies to effectively address any of these concerns, while one is preparing for IVF, can go a long way towards reaching your goal of a healthy pregnancy.
Acupuncture is a powerful treatment approach to include as part of an IVF treatment plan.
Research has shown that acupuncture significantly increases the success rates of IVF cycles (citation below). Acupuncture works to:
- Reduce stress
- Balance hormones
- Increase blood flow to the reproductive organs
- Improve ovarian function, leading to more robust eggs
- Enhance the uterine environment, leading to better implantation of the embryo
- Promote a healthy immune system
- Reduce inflammation
- Minimize side effects of drugs during stimulation cycles
A typical pre-IVF treatment plan has patients receiving acupuncture once or twice a week, ideally for twelve weeks (or more) prior to their IVF cycle. Eggs that will be retrieved during an IVF cycle have been maturing for three months. The benefits of acupuncture during this maturation process can improve both the quantity and the quality of eggs, thereby increasing the odds of a successful pregnancy.
In addition to acupuncture, incorporating the following strategies leads to the highest rate of healthy pregnancies and live births:
- Review of lab tests
- Screen for nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin D and iron
- establish vitamin and supplement protocols
- Evaluate individual approaches to healthy eating
- Assess lifestyle considerations
IVF is the key to successful family building for many people.
It is both a big commitment, and expensive. Taking steps to improve your odds of a healthy pregnancy is smart. Acupuncture is a fantastic addition to an IVF treatment plan.
You deserve a clinician who will take the time to listen, understand your individual needs, and support you during your fertility journey. Someone who has experience. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we can answer your questions and help you get scheduled for your first appointment! Call today 510-595-1175!
Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac.
Fertility Acupuncturist East Bay
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Impact of Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine on In Vitro Fertilization Outcomes
Lee E. Hullender Rubin,a Michael S. Opsahl,b Klaus Wiemer,b Scott D. Mist,c and Aaron B. Caugheyc