How Acupuncture Can Affect IVF Success

Home / How Acupuncture Can Affect IVF Success - September 6, 2016 , by janice-jane

pregnancyIt seems so silly now how much effort we women put into making sure we didn’t get pregnant when we were younger. In fact, when I finally planned for a family, I didn’t realize that it would actually be very difficult for me. I had wasted so much time and effort preventing something that was, unknown to me, almost impossible. 

After marriage, I tried hard and failed in getting pregnant fast. My husband and I gave it our best, following every tip we read and heard about, hoping that it would happen naturally at some point. When it wouldn’t happen, we braced ourselves to try out IVF. 

Unfortunately, these sessions were going to be a big strain on our finances, so we wanted to make sure that we will finally achieve our dream of having kids. I tried to research about the treatment to find out how we can make the odds better. This is when I found out about IVF acupuncture to help with pregnancy.

Although doctors are not sure how it actually helps with fertility, there is growing research that proves its effectiveness in women who are undergoing IVF. When acupuncture was done on the same day as when the embryos are implanted, the chances of conception go higher. 

It is not so easy to track the influence of acupuncture on fertility because the treatments themselves have a lot of benefits that might also indirectly help women conceive. First of all, acupuncture helps with stress levels, which is very important to help you become more fertile. Moreover, blood circulation to your pelvic organs, especially the ovaries and uterus, is improved. 

Even hormone levels are affected by these sessions. This can help regulate your menstrual cycle and tackle ovulation dysfunction. These can be reasons why you are finding it hard to get pregnant. If your partner goes for a few sessions, he also reaps benefits through better sperm health. 

Acupuncture, in short, can affect your mind and body to help you get pregnant. After all, as I know very well from experience, trying to conceive can be a very stressful and difficult time for a couple. The monthly attempts, waiting to see if your period will come or not, the many tests and worst of all, the disappointment, all build up. IVF cycles, with its hefty price tag, is a huge decision to make and you go to the clinic with such tense expectation. If acupuncture can at least help you relax and if having lower stress levels can make conception more successful, then this is worth a try.

I was convinced enough that I asked my doctor to refer me to an acupuncturist as part of my fertility treatment. After all, I was already cleared from other conditions like endometriosis that might not be addressed by this procedure, so this could still boost my chances.

My initial meeting with the acupuncturist was all about talking about my history, especially the many attempts to get pregnant. I also got a better idea of how acupuncture can go hand in hand with my IVF treatments to ensure success.

In fact, sessions were planned before, during and after the IVF process. It all begins a week before the cycle. On the day of implantation, acupuncture is done before and after. Moreover, during the two-week wait, visits to the clinic are also planned between the 7th and 10th day. This is to relieve stress and tension as I wait for the result of the IVF. 

The acupuncture sessions themselves were very pleasant, and I only felt a bit of tingling where the needles were inserted. However, after a few moments, I began to feel much more relaxed. This lasted as I finally went in for the implantation.

At the end of the IVF cycle and the 2-week wait, we were ready to see if it worked. Thankfully, I was one of that 65 % of women who have conceived after a combination of IVF and acupuncture. I was pregnant!

I would never be able to really determine what in the end, was the reason for this success. I would like to think that it was the combination of the two. As I look at my infant now, I can only be grateful to the team of acupuncturists who have shared their expertise in fertility and acupuncture to help women like me. I can only hope that one day, its effectiveness can be more clearly proven and that a combination of the 2 treatments become more widely offered. 

For other women who are still trying, I can only recommend doing their research and asking their doctor for a chance to combine their IVF cycles with acupuncture. Lastly, make sure you approach someone who has a broad expertise in acupuncture treatments for fertility. With 6 to 7 women finally ending up pregnant, your chances are pretty good!

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