Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as a therapy to support women having IVF treatment to become pregnant, with some clinics having their own designated acupuncturist. It’s growing popularity can be attributed in part to its effectiveness and in part to the fact that scientific studies have begun to prove its efficacy.
To maximise its potential benefit acupuncture should ideally commence at least 3 months before you start IVF, and while the number and frequency of treatments will depend on the individual they are often bi monthly in line with ovulation and your menstruation. Additionally, acupuncture is particularly recommended in the hours before and after your egg transfer and where necessary treatment can continue afterwards to support the pregnancy.
Outside IVF there is growing evidence to show that acupuncture can increase pregnancy success when added to other lifestyle changes. It has been shown to;
- Improve ovulation rates
- Regulate your menstrual cycle
- Increases blood flow in the pelvic area
- Reduce Stress
All of which are beneficial when you’re trying to conceive. One study showed the timescale for conception was halved when acupuncture was added to other lifestyle changes.
From the male perspective research has shown that acupuncture may improve
- Testicular blood flow and sperm motility
So even though women are often the focus of fertility issues it is worth considering acupuncture for men too. In line with the advice for women, it is recommended that men should also think about lifestyle changes and acupuncture at least 3 months before trying to conceive especially as the sperm regeneration cycle is approximately 3 months.
If you are considering acupuncture for fertility and would like to discuss it further please ring Julia Bletcher on 07872330502
Julia is currently offering a FREE 15 minute consultation for fertility
Pubmed, US national library of medicine
Treatment of women’s reproductive health conditions by Australian and New Zealand acupuncturists. Smith CA, Armour M, Betts D.
Prior to Conception- The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial.
Ovulation rates – Effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on IVF-ET in patients with decline in ovarian reserve.
Study that improved pregnancy rates – Acupuncture Stimulation of Acupoints of Multiple Meridians for Patients with Diminished Ovarian Reserve of Both Yin and Yang Deficiency.
Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial.
Male reproduction – Improving testicular blood flow with electroacupuncture-like percutaneous nerve stimulation in an experimental rat model of testicular torsion.