If your like a lot of people who see me at my San Diego office, you are seeking acupuncture to assist with the success of your IVF cyle. Perhaps you just heard about fertility acupuncture, and are wondering if it is too late at this point, or it can still help. Here is how acupuncture can benefit you:
Fortunately. acupuncture can help at a number of points during and IVF Cycle. Ideally I like to see patients about 3 months before their IVF. This gives me about 3 natural cycles to work though, to prepare their body before they go the series of medicines that are used for IVF. This also gives us a chance to see how the patient responds to acupuncture and herbs. A number of people have gotten pregnant at this point. If the male partner is also seeking treatment, this also gives us the right amount of time to improve the semen quality. Three months of preparation is also the preferred way to go if there are egg quality issues (diminished ovarian reserve, poor responder), since time is need to improve the follicles as they go through their one year journey to ovulation.
Many patients find out last minute about acupuncture, right before the main IVF medications are given. They are often times starting the IVF the very next week. Acupuncture can help here as well. At this stage, our effort is to improve the ovarian response to the stimulation hormones, and diminish the harmful effects of stress on the whole procedure.
Still other people seek out acupuncture for just before and after the embryo transfer. Acupuncture has been shown in various studies to improve pregnancy rates of the IVF procedure. The mechanism of this is believed to be improved uterine blood flow, as well as reducing the possibility of the uterine spasms after the embryo is transferred.
Some recent research suggests that acupuncture improves the success rate of IVF because it can help normalize hormonal balance quickly, allowing the embryo to implant, and grow in a more normal environment. This makes sense considering the long sequence of hormones used in common IVF procedure.
Most women will feel normal more quickly after receiving acupuncture throughout the entire process of an IVF treatment. That is why acupuncture is being widely used in conjunction with IVF, here in San Diego, and elsewhere including many other countries. If you are considering going though IVF or are about to begin one, call my office today for a consult about whether including acupuncture s right for you.
Eric Hollander, L.Ac.