Assisted Conception

How can acupuncture help?

 

Various studies over the years have identified that acupuncture may help whilst undergoing assisted fertility treatment by:

 

* Increasing the blood flow to the ovaries and uterus (Steiner-Victorin et al 2003) 

* Modulating the sympathetic nervous system (Steiner-Victorin 1996, Gerhard and Postneek 1992)

* Reducing the effects of Ovarian Hyper-stimulation (Cai, 1997)

* Increase success rates of IVF (Paulus et al 2002)

* Limiting the affects of stress and anxiety on the body (Magarelli et al, 2009, Domar et al, 2009)

 

Treatment is with fine needles used on a number of acupuncture points, in a relaxing environment. I will often use Moxa which is a herb which burns with a direct heat which I may use on points on the abdomen or lower legs. I may also use electro-acupuncture which gives added stimulation to the needle and is comfortable and painfree. Treatment is relaxing.


IVF/ICSI

"Acupuncture may help to increase IVF success rates by 65%"

Guardian 2008 www.guardian.co.uk (Based on Paulus et al, 2002)

 

It takes a woman approximately three months to mature her eggs from the store of eggs that she has. So, ideally when treating a patient going through IVF/ICSI I would want to see her three months leading up to the treatment and then through the treatment cycle. In the three months leading up to treatment I would treat on average twice a month working with your cycle. I am well aware this isn’t always possible and there is plenty I can still do to treat during the cycle. Below I have detailed an average treatment plan for during the cycle, to give you an idea. All treatment plans will be developed for the individual.

 

Through the cycle, on average, I would see you as follows:

* Once during the down regulation phase, pre stimulation

* Twice during the stimulation phase, ideally around your scan dates so that we can tailor treatment to the response of your ovaries/uterus

* Pre and Post Embryo Transfer (ET). One treatment after egg collection but before ET, and the second after ET within an agreed time frame which depends on which day the embryo is transferred. These two treatments are based on the Paulus Prototcol, a successful German trial (read more on the research)

I will ensure I am available for all key dates in your treatment plan as timing is critical to success.


IUI

 

 

In a similar way as above, acupuncture may help treat at key times to help increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus to encourage ovulation and de-stress (see research reference above), whether on drugs or doing natural IUI.

 

 

 

 Treatment will generally be as follows:

* At lease once before the IUI cycle and in the lead up to being due a period so that we can help clear the endometrium

 

* Once during the stimulation cycle, naturally or on drugs, ideally between day 5-12 of your cycle

 

* Once after the IUI process to help increase the chances of implantation, this needs to be between 2 to 5 days after the IUI procedure

 

All acupuncture treatment will be tailored to your treatment dates.