Pregnant Woman, Moralis Yannis, 1948 (Image by Tilemahos Efthimiadis via Flickr)
One of the best parts of my job is supporting women through IVF - and then through pregnancy. (I have lots of pregnant clients at the moment and they all love being able to lie face down on my special pregnancy couch cushions!).
Here are a few of the most common questions people ask me about acupuncture and IVF:
Can acupuncture improve my chances of conceiving through IVF?
In a word, yes!
The evidence suggests that acupuncture given around the time of embryo transfer has a statistically significant effect on pregnancy rates (in a widely-quoted German study* the rates of clinical pregnancy were 42.5% with acupuncture compared to 26.3% without acupuncture)
How does acupuncture work?
Research is ongoing but a number of mechanisms have been suggested, including reducing stress hormones in the body and increasing the blood supply to the uterus.
When should I start treatment?
It is absolutely fine to come to me for two treatments, one before and one after your embryo transfer. Ideally I like to see patients 2 or 3 months before the IVF process starts so that I can work on regulating their cycle in the lead up to IVF, and help with the symptoms of IVF (for example stress and hot flushes) during the procedure.
What happens at my first treatment?
At your first treatment I will ask you lots of questions to gain a complete picture of your state of health and lifestyle. I will then tailor a treatment to your specific needs - it may include both massage and acupuncture. Together we will agree on a treatment plan which may involve weekly treatments, depending on your individual circumstances.
If you are attending just for support on the day of embryo transfer we will schedule appointments a few hours before and after the procedure - although most recent research indicates that the optimal outcomes are achieved when women are given individualised treatments, ideally starting a few weeks before the IVF process begins (Lee, Hullender, Rubin,2015).
If you have any questions please contact Jane on 07733 001098, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Paulus et al. (2002), Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril. 2002: 85(5):1352-1358.