IVF and Assisted Reproductive Technique Support
The use of acupuncture to support IVF and other assisted reproductive procedures has been well-researched and has been shown to help improve IVF success. Acupuncture can help to prepare your body for IVF by addressing your whole health, as well as the issues that may be affecting your fertility.
Studies have shown that acupuncture increases blood flow to the reproductive tract, aiding the lining of the uterus to help implantation. This increase in blood flow to the reproductive organs also has a positive impact on the ovaries during the stimulation phase of an IVF cycle.
The majority of the research on the effectiveness of acupuncture and IVF has been done on the critical treatment protocol of acupuncture treatment before and after embryo transfer. This treatment should occur in the 24hrs before and the 24hrs after embryo transfer, with one of those treatments on the actual day of transfer.
For the treatment prior to transfer, acupuncture is thought to increase the arterial blood flow to the uterus to nourish and support the endometrium, move Qi (energy flow) and blood, as well as create physical and mental relaxation for the woman prior to the transfer.
For the treatment after transfer, acupuncture treatment is used to create a calm environment in the uterus and minimize any discomfort or cramping from the transfer procedure. Acupuncture points are selected that will support healthy implantation of the embryo and also improve the health of the blood flow and tissue of endometrium to support a pregnancy.
Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective treatment for infertility. Therefore, prior to starting IVF, hormone-induced or other type of assisted reproductive treatment, it is ideal if both partners can undergo conception care and acupuncture treatment for 3 months prior to commencement of the procedure, to increase their chances of success. However, in some cases this is not possible, and even without ideal preparation, the research into the effects of acupuncture on the outcomes of IVF cycles by just focusing on the pre- and post-transfer treatments shows a clear increased benefit.