When should I start acupuncture before IVF? Treatment can commence up to 5 months prior to an IVF cycle. Your full medical, menstrual and health history is reviewed. This information is vital to creating your unique diagnosis. Your acupuncture treatment is designed to address any deficiencies and various lifestyle advice is also provided. Additional suggestions such as nutrition therapy and Chinese herbs may also be considered.
Why should a female patient consider coming to acupuncture in advance of a cycle of IVF? One of the main reasons is optimising your egg quality. Egg maturation takes 150 days (5 months) from the primordial follicle to becoming an egg cell at the release of ovulation. As well as regulating oestrogen, progesterone, FSH and testosterone. This in turn regulates ovulation and the menstrual cycle.
Should my partner consider fertility acupuncture? Supporting both partners optimises the chance of conceiving during the IVF process, 2 out of 3 couples in the UK are due to male subfertility either alone or in combination with female factor. 1*
I have decided to have acupuncture at the last minute before an IVF cycle, can you help me? Although we haven't had the time to increase egg quality over a 3-5 month period, research suggests acupuncture sessions during an IVF procedure can enhance the thickness of the endometrium, optimise temperature for implantation and receptivity of the uterine environment. Most importantly acupuncture is wonderful for calming, often the IVF process is can be stressful. When you’re under stress your body will struggle for equilibrium and possibly conceiving!
Why should I choose Kim as my acupuncturist? “It is important to offer various treatment options to my patients which embrace Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the latest Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).” Kim has supported many couples in the journey to conceiving over seven years of practice. She attends Continuing Professional Development with a focus on female and male fertility each year.
How are treatments scheduled 3 to 5 months from my IVF cycle? Treatment is planned around the luteal and follicular phase of your cycle (or start of the period to ovulation), of course this often varies depending upon each womans menstrual history.
Miscarriage If you have suffered a miscarriage acupuncture should be considered 3 to 5 months prior to the IVF process, this will allow Kim to monitor your cycle and regulate and top up your reserves before trying again.
What type of ART/ IVF cycles do you work with? Long down regulated, short down regulated and natural cycles.
How many treatments do you suggest if I have just had my consultation and I have decided acupuncture would be a good idea? Upon commencing the IVF process on the average a patient is looking at 7 to 10 treatments, the info below is only a suggestion and not prescriptive. Variations depend on the type of cycle and the patients overall health.
Day 1 -3 of period
Day 4 to Day 11 follicle development
Day 11 - 14 follicle maturation
Day of egg collection
Day 14 - Days 16/ 19
Pre and post embryo transfer
Waiting period a minimum post transfer
Ongoing support post implantation is highly recommended to to ensure the smooth embryo implantation and calm anxieties. If there is a previous history of miscarriage, weekly treatments would be suggested until week 12.
Research Links: WE Paulus et al. (2002), Increase of pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy by acupuncture. Click here to read more research from the British Acupuncture Council about IVF *1 Szmelskyj I & Aquilina L, Acupuncture for IVF & Assisted reproduction, Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, 2015.