Lets talk about why you should add Acupuncture to your fertility program!
During your first consultation we will discuss this in detail. There is also mounting evidence – a recent British trial using acupuncture alongside IVF has demonstrated that acupuncture more than doubles women’s chances of having a baby. There has been suggestion that acupuncture should be offered on the NHS to support IVF cycles. I fully support this, although for safety reasons acupuncture should be administered by BAcC member practitioners who have undertaken a full 3 year degree level training. You can feel confident in the level of training and clinical experience we provide.
Whether your path to achieving your dream is IVF, ICSI or IUI, it is really important to be in the best physical and emotional condition to conceive. Research and clinical evidence indicates that using acupuncture alongside your chosen fertility protocol is very beneficial and can increase the chances of conception. This is particularly true if stress levels are high or there are any existing menstrual cycle problems. The latest compilation of acupuncture fertility research by the British Acupuncture Council can be found at this LINK
With you, every step of the way
We have broken down and explained the acupuncture protocol approach for each stage in the lead up to a successful of conception. This allows us to tightly control the number of acupuncture treatments at each stage and so you have a really clear outline of the costs and visiting times
Typical IVF prtocol
This time period focuses on preparing the mind and body to be in the best condition possible for the assisted fertility process. Patients typically begin to visit a couple of months prior to an IVF cycle, visits are once a week or two weekly depending on the patient.
Two key areas to work on at this point:
Address any menstrual cycle problems. We commonly see issues such as irregularity, light/heaviness and pain
When someone is dealing with conception issues the situation can cause extra stress to an already busy life. This can and have a negative effect on the body. There are a number of biological changes that occur in the body when we are under stress. Acupuncture promotes homeostasis (balance) in the hormonal system and aids in the reduction of the effects of stress on the body. It also creates a balance in the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts; the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for action (known as fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system ensures that everything functions well (rest and digest). Most people have an overactive sympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture addresses this imbalance.
Acupuncture, dietary therapy & lifestyle assessment
This protocol involves maximising the blood flow to the ovaries to ensure a constant and steady supply of hormones and nutrients that is needed for the normal growth and to reduce self-immune attacks on the ovaries and uterus
Once IVF stimulation begins it is recommended to have 2-4 acupuncture sessions between FSH injections and Egg retrieval
Egg retrieval can be quite uncomfortable and invasive, it is recommended to have an acupuncture treatment within a day or two to relieve bloating, distension and cramps that can happen after the procedure. Acupuncture can increase blood flow to the area which speeds up recovery and aids in preparing the uterus for implantation.
On or around the day of embryo transfer research suggests that two acupuncture treatments (on the day of transfer and one 3 days after) embryo transfer significantly increases pregnancy rates.
In a randomised controlled study published by the BMJ acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.
As well as increasing blood flow to the uterus, the treatment approach is designed to calm the mind and body during the often stressful “two week wait period” to find out if pregnancy is successful.
At this point we cross our fingers and toes that you have a positive pregnancy test!
In this case, we still continue to support you. We recommend acupuncture weekly or two weekly during the 1st trimester; especially is there is anxiety, nausea, bleeding or pain.
Acupuncture is used quite often to turn a breech baby. This involves using moxa (heat) on a point on the little toe. The breech baby then turns during or shortly after application of heat. This is a safe, non-invasive procedure often performed by midwives.
There are a large number of points contraindicated in pregnancy due to the fact that they are known to induce labour. Using some of these points in a specific combination at the end of the 3rd triester can trigger labour, ensuring there is no delay to delivery.