ACUPUNCTURE AND IVF SUPPORT
The value of combining acupuncture support with IVF treatment has become well accepted of recent years due to the increasing number of positive outcomes from scientific studies. Many of these studies have demonstrated that acupuncture treatment may improve your chances of success with IVF treatment. Acupuncture is safe to use before, during and after your IVF treatment program.
Acupuncture improves IVF success rates for several reasons:
- Increasing the chances of pregnancy by having acupuncture around the time of your IVF transfer
- Improve implantation rates by improving the circulation of blood to the uterus and pelvis, thus improving the uterine lining for embryo implantation and pregnancy rates
- Regulating and balancing hormone levels which means that individuals with a poor prognoses (elevated FSH, poor sperm morphology, long history of infertility) can achieve pregnancy rates similar to individuals with a normal prognosis
- A decrease the risk of miscarriage was reported at the 2004 October meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
ACUPUNCTURE AND STRESS REDUCTION
We know for individuals and couples having issues with their fertility is probably one of the most stressful experiences in life. Having access to IVF treatment is a fantastic opportunity for these individuals and couples however many couples find it can put an additional stress and pressure on both themselves and their relationship.
Patients frequently report back just how much better they feel for having regular acupuncture during their IVF treatment.
As a result of having regular acupuncture they say they feel much more relaxed, less stressed and anxious, improved sleep and generally cope better during treatment cycles. This patient feedback reflects some of the findings of a qualitative study in 2008.
ACUPUNCTURE SUPPORT FOR MALE FERTILITY
It has been documented that about 25% of infertility is directly related to the male partner with another 15-25% thought to play some role in infertility . That makes the overall percentage of male fertility issues closer to 40-50%.
Overall poor sperm quality, such as poor motility and poor morphology are some of the reasons for the use of IVF intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. ICSI is used when the sperm quality is too poor for conventional IVF.
Improving sperm quality will increase your chances of successful fertilization either naturally or using IVF and therefore possibly averting the need to use ICSI. Published research studies have reported an improvement in sperm quality following acupuncture treatment. These studies have shown that having acupuncture treatments twice a week for 5-10 weeks did:
- Increase the number of sperm with no structural defects in the ejaculate
- Significantly improved sperm motility and morphology
- Significantly increase fertilization rates
(See our Men’s Health page for further information on male fertility).