Acupuncture to support IVF
Acupuncture treatments for general fertility assistance are of such benefit to couples trying to conceive that it is no surprise that acupuncture can be used as a support treatment to assisted reproductive techniques.
Chinese medicine says that the balance between yin and yang and the nourishment and flow of the qi and blood all need to be nurtured, harmonised and supported to encourage successful conception, implantation and a healthy ongoing pregnancy. So to achieve this, Chinese medicine can be used to address these imbalances. It is no surprise, then, that using acupuncture in the lead-up to, and during, an IVF cycle can have such a positive influence on the outcome.
How acupuncture assists during IVF
- Lessens side effects of fertility drugs, e.g. nausea, bloating, headaches
- Strengthens the immune system
- Reduces stress and anxiety levels
- Improves function of ovaries to promote better-quality eggs
- Regulates hormones to produce larger numbers of follicles
- Increases blood flow to the uterus and increases thickness of the uterine lining
- Prevents the uterus from contracting
- Decreases the chance of miscarriage
Clinical trials and studies on acupuncture and IVF
Over the last few years, numerous studies have been conducted on using acupuncture with IVF. Overall, these trials have shown that, not only can acupuncture improve your physical and emotional health throughout an IVF cycle, but it can actually increase your chance of success.
Acupuncture treatments, specifically treatments done at the time of transfer, have been shown to improve implantation rates of IVF embryos. Studies also suggest that acupuncture before and during medicated phases of your IVF cycle helps to prepare the uterine lining, improve hormone levels and increase the chance of success at transfer.
Not surprisingly, studies almost always comment on the ability of acupuncture to decrease stress and anxiety levels during the IVF process.