Is this for you?
This service suits those who have chosen to combine Western assisted reproductive technologies such as IUI and IVF with acupuncture.
Combining IVF with Acupuncture
Over the last decade acupuncture has gained popularity amongst couples undergoing Western assisted reproductive technologies such as IUI and IVF. This is mostly due to the increasing number of promising research studies. Acupuncture used in conjunction with IVF, is an emerging field of research with improvements in the quality of research being continually focused on. Issues such as low patient recruitment for studies is an area that needs to be improved upon. As such early systematic reviews of research found that evidence in this area was ‘unclear’. However, since then, a more recent systematic review and meta-analysis by Qian et al (2016) concluded that ‘Acupuncture improves the CPR (clinical pregnancy rate) in women undergoing IVF’. The review conducted in August 2016 and published in December 2016 in Archives of Gynecology & Obstetrics, covered 30 trials with a total of 6344 participants.
Although not a systematic review or randomised controlled trial, in 2016 a study was undertaken at the London Homerton University Hospital, that concluded that combining acupuncture with IVF more than doubled the clinical pregnancy rate. The study of 127 women aged between 23 and 43 years of age on their first or second round of IVF, were grouped into an acupuncture group or non-acupuncture group. Acupuncture was done before egg pick up, and before and after embryo transfer. The acupuncture group had 46.2% conceive, whilst the non-acupuncture group had only 21.7% conceive.
Our program has been used by patients that:
- have been undergoing IUI or IVF cycles for quite some time and would like to complement it with acupuncture
- have been considering IUI or IVF and are interested in combining it with acupuncture
It is never to start acupuncture treatment. At Kirsty Eng Fertility we are often meeting patients on the day of their embryo transfer.
What will happen?
The IVF and Acupuncture Program offers varying levels of support:
- OPTIMAL – 3 months of weekly treatments prior to beginning any assisted fertility procedures to ensure the couple are as healthy and balanced as possible. Sperm take 90 -120 days to develop, thus three months is an appropriate amount of time to focus on acupuncture and diet & lifestyle changes. Three months of acupuncture is also adequate time to observe differences in a woman’s cycle. Three months is also enough time to address any dietary or lifestyle factors that could impact fertility. Treatments involve acupuncture, herbs, nutritional supplementation, dietary and lifestyle advice.
- Initial Consultation prior to IVF cycles starting including Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis, diet and lifestyle advice. Weekly acupuncture throughout the cycle and focused acupuncture around key dates such as egg retrieval, semen collection and embryo transfer.
- Treatments on key dates – prior to egg retrieval/prior to semen collection, prior to embryo transfer, and immediately after embryo transfer
Generally when clients are referred from a fertility clinic there is not enough time for three months of treatment prior to transfer. In these instances I ask the couple to see me as soon as possible so I can assess both of their constitutions, diets and lifestyles and recommend changes. I will begin treatment that matches the pattern they fit in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The IVF and Acupuncture Program also recommends:
- Treatment once or twice weekly while waiting for results
- Weekly treatment in the early stages of pregnancy
The IVF Support Program includes:
- An initial detailed health assessment including a review of current diet and lifestyle choices
- Dietary and Lifestyle recommendations and advice
- Individually prescribed nutritional supplements
- Weekly Acupuncture treatments to complement the IVF/IUI process
- Acupuncture treatments around key dates – prior to egg retrieval, prior to semen collection, prior to embryo transfer, and immediately after embryo transfer
Qian Yi, Xia Xin-Ru, Ochin H, Huang C, Gao C, Gao L, Cui Yu-Gui, Liu Jia-Yin, Meng Y, ‘Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, 2016, Arch Gynecol Obstet, Dec 2016, pp 1-16, Archives Gynecology and Obstetrics
Gillerman K, Rehman N, Dilgil M, Homburg R, 2016 ‘The impact of acupuncture on IVF success rates: a randomised controlled trial,’ Homerton University Hospital, Homerton Fertility Centre, London, UK, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology 32nd Annual Meeting, Helsinki, Finland, July 3-6, 2016
Call our clinic on (07) 3852 3384 or contact Kirsty directly on 0410 776 730
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