1. Can acupuncture help improve fertility and support IVF success?
Studies suggest that acupuncture enhances fertility and improves chances of IVF success by improving blood flow to the reproductive organs, reducing stress, and promoting overall well-being.
2. Are there studies showing efficacy of Acupuncture for fertility during IVF?
Acupuncture is now very commonly used with IVF cycles and clinically we see excellent outcomes. Recent meta-analyses found acupuncture is effective to increase the possibility of live births by 30% when acupuncture was compared with no treatment in nine trials of 1,980 women. It was found that Acupuncture does not increase the risk of miscarriage. Additionally, acupuncture was 42% more effective in increasing live births when women had previously failed a cycle. Treatments were times during the IVF cycle, before and after the embryo transfer. acupuncture on IVF outcomes.
3. When should someone consider incorporating acupuncture into their IVF journey?
Optimally Acupuncture for fertility should be done 30-90 days before the fertility treatment and continued through the fertility treatment. Eggs and sperms take about 90 days to develop and doing Acupuncture treatment during this time helps grow good quality and eggs and sperms that lead to better IVF outcomes. However if that is not possible, receiving Acupuncture while going through the IVF cycle will also have strong impact on the outcomes.
3. At what frequency should I receive Acupuncture for IVF cycle?
Below are our recommended timelines for receiving acupuncture before and during the fertility treatments like IVF, IUI and frozen embryo transfers.
a. In preparation of IVF( preparation phase): This phase can last from 30-90 days. 90 days is the lifecycle of ovum or sperm. During this time weekly/ biweekly treatments are recommended along with dietary and lifestyle changes that support egg health. This is specially important when there is diminished ovarian reserve, poor quality eggs or embryos.
b. During IVF( Stimulation phase):
As the IVF cycle progresses and stimulation medications are administered, some individuals choose to continue with regular acupuncture sessions. We recommend biweekly treatments during this time period support hormonal balance, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.
c.Before/ after Egg Retrieval (Retrieval phase)
Acupuncture sessions are commonly recommended before egg retrieval preferably on the day itself.Acupuncture treatment 24-48 hours before retrieval help relax the cervix and enhance blood flow to the uterus.
Acupuncture treatment after egg retrieval help with healing, relaxation and preparation of the next step.
d. Before and after Embryo Transfer:
Researches After the embryo transfer, some individuals may continue with acupuncture sessions to support implantation and address any potential stress or anxiety. Weekly sessions in the immediate post-transfer period are common.
e. Post-IVF Cycle
Following the IVF cycle, individuals may choose to continue acupuncture treatments, particularly if the cycle is unsuccessful or for ongoing support. The frequency can be adjusted based o individual needs and goals.
4. How often should I receive Acupuncture with IUI Cycle?
The frequency recommendations are similar to IVF with treatments before and after the IUI procedure itself similar to the embryo transfer protocol.
5. Can Acupuncture help with male infertility?
In studies Acupuncture has shown to can improve sperm quality, sperm count, motility, and morphology and improve pregnancy rate when used with assisted reproduction techniques. It is extremely effective tool for stress reduction. Stress can negatively impacts male fertility, and reducing stress levels may contribute to overall reproductive health. In addition balances hormones and enhances blood flow for healthy sperm production. Researches have also shown effectiveness of Moxibustion and herbal therapy in enhancing the sperm quality.