Acupuncture for three months or more before fertility treatments can make a difference in egg quality.
Acupuncture is know as an ideal companion treatment for an IVF transfer. This is getting a treatment before and after the transfer of an embryo into the uterus. But perhaps lesser known, but equally important is the effects that acupuncture can have on the still immature oocyte deep within the ovary. The condition of these is often known as “egg quality.” This is an often ambiguous description for how well suited the egg is to responding, maturing and being able to be fertilized, and become a good embryo.
As a germ cell, and oocytes take about a year to fully form into mature eggs and follicles, which can then be ovulated. Three months before ovulation the oocyte has become an antral follicle. If you have heard of an antral follicle count, this is where an ultrasound is used to assess how many follicles are growing, and how the ovarian reserve is. At this stage the antral follicles are expressing their receptor sites. These receptor sites allow the follicle to be stimulated by the bodies hormones.
The follicles ability to be receptive to hormonal stimulation is a key component of egg quality.
I recommend getting acupuncture for at least the months before an IVF for this very reason. It gives time for the acupuncture to help antral follicles to develop more receptor sites. More receptor sites mean a better response to to hormones (whether your own bodies, or artificial). Better receptor sites, and improved ovarian response means better egg quality.
How acupuncture does this is through the improvement of micro- circulation in the ovaries. The ovaries don’t get very good circulation as it is. Acupuncture helps get more blood and nutrients into the ovaries during critical times of follicle development.
If you want to work on your egg quality, Eric Hollander, L.Ac. has been practicing acupuncture for 20 years and specializing in fertility acupuncture for the past 13 years and is the owner of Fertility Points Acupuncture. You may contact him here.