When you’ve invested in in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help you grow your family, you want to do everything in your power to help your cycle be a success.
From eating a fertility diet, taking fertility supplements, and even trying fertility meditations, there is no shortage of healthy habits you can adopt to improve your chances. But have you ever considered getting acupuncture for IVF?
While getting acupuncture during an IVF cycle may sound like a modern approach to fertility, Oriental Medicine has been helping families conceive for centuries. Here we’ll share why acupuncture can help you improve your chances of a successful IVF cycle, and how to get started at 120 Acupuncture.
How Does Acupuncture Help with Fertility Treatments?
Acupuncture and assisted reproductive technology (ART) work hand in hand to give you the best chances of a successful pregnancy.
IVF medications and procedures encourage your body to produce eggs, grow a thick uterine lining, and implant an embryo. Acupuncture helps make sure these processes go as smoothly as possible by bringing your body into a healthy, fertile balance. Here’s how it works:
● Acupuncture improves egg quality.
If you are planning an IVF cycle with egg retrieval, acupuncture can help ensure the eggs you produce are as viable as possible. It does so by increasing blood flow to the ovaries, which in turn can enhance the quality and quantity of your eggs.
● Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to the uterus and improves the uterine lining.
Acupuncture is commonly used to improve blood flow, especially to treat conditions like pain. These same circulation-enhancing benefits can also be used to direct healthy blood flow to the uterus during an IVF cycle. Studies show that acupuncture fertility treatment significantly increases uterine blood flow, which leads to a thicker, more receptive uterine lining where the embryo can implant and develop.
● Acupuncture reduces IVF side effects.
Like most medical treatments, IVF is not without its fair share of side effects. Issues like abdominal swelling, pain, cramping, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and other symptoms are to be expected when taking medications or after egg retrieval or embryo transfer.
Acupuncture helps ease these symptoms without interfering with the IVF medications or procedures. This makes the IVF experience more comfortable for you while giving your body the best chance of getting pregnant.
● Acupuncture reduces the risk of miscarriage.
While getting pregnant is the first step, delivering a healthy baby is our goal. Sadly, not all successful IVF cycles are carried to term. Acupuncture can help. Studies show that women who get acupuncture during their IVF cycles have a 50% lower miscarriage rate.
● Acupuncture addresses root imbalances related to fertility.
Beyond helping the IVF process go smoothly, acupuncture also addresses the root causes of infertility and restores your body’s natural balance. And when you are in balance, you are more likely to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby.120 Acupuncture’s office manager and patient, Jinnie, noticed that her treatments went beyond preparing for IVF: “It’s not just a focus on one thing like fertility,” she explains. “It’s a focus on the entire body.”Jinnie was blessed with a healthy pregnancy after her acupuncture treatments (you can read her story here!), but also noticed that her energy, blood flow, and overall well-being improved during her treatments.
● Acupuncture reduces stress and anxiety.
Undergoing fertility treatments puts mental and physical stress on the body. Yet, excess stress and anxiety have a negative impact on your fertility. Thankfully, regular acupuncture treatments can help you keep your stress levels under control, which may improve IVF outcomes. In fact, most women who use acupuncture along with IVF report that the stress relief they experienced during their treatments was the most enjoyable part of the entire process!
● Acupuncture treatment sets the body’s balance.
No matter your diagnosis or symptoms, acupuncture works to re-establish balance in the body.With fertility challenges, there is more than one organ at play. As Dr. Ko explains, “Each organ in our body faces each other. The organ opposite of the uterus is the large intestine. In Oriental Medicine, the uterus is the part of Kidney 腎’. The Kidney 腎 includes the Kidneys, bladder and uterus. When the function of the large intestine is weak, the function of the kidney is weakened. In this case, we treat the large intestine so that the function of the kidneys improves.”
This is why acupuncture can be so effective. Instead of addressing only symptoms, we get to the root causes and balance all affected organs.
What About Male Acupuncture for IVF?
IVF success is not just about women! Sperm quality and quantity also play a factor in how many eggs fertilize, and how many embryos are viable for embryo transfer. Thankfully, acupuncture can be used to improve sperm quality and reduce stress for men throughout the IVF process, too.
Dr. Ko’s Tips for Using Acupuncture Treatment Along with IVF
Ready to include acupuncture treatment in your IVF plans? While it’s never too late to start acupuncture, we see the best results when you are able to complete a full cycle of acupuncture fertility treatments. Here are our tips to get started:
1. Start acupuncture at least one month before IVF.
In most cases, we can start fertility treatment 1 month before IVF starts. But, the best time to start treatment is 3 months before IVF begins. Why? It usually takes a 3-month cycle for the body to integrate all the benefits of the acupuncture treatment.
2. Take herbal medicine along with acupuncture for best results.
Herbal medicine is a powerful way to improve your overall fertility. For women, a custom herbal formula can help balance hormones and encourage a healthy uterine lining. It leads to stronger, more viable eggs and it warms the uterus, helping the embryo to implant and thrive.
Dr. Ko might prescribe these herbs for women: Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai), Paeoniae Radix Alba (Bái Sháo), Ligusticum striatum (Chuan Xiong), Astragalus Root (Huang Qi), Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fischer (gāncǎo)
3.Men should also start acupuncture and herbal treatment prior to IVF.
For men, herbal medicine helps produce more sperm, as well as improves the sperm’s strength, morphology, and motility. This leads to a better fertilization rate and a healthier embryo.
Dr. Ko might prescribe these herbs for men: Rehmanniae Radix (Shu Di Huang), Fructus Corni (Shan Zhu Yu), Dioscorea Japonica (Shan Yao), Rhizome Alismatis (Ze Xie), Moutan Cortex Radicis (Mu Dan Pi), Fu Ling (Pori cocos).
Boost Your Chances of IVF Success with Acupuncture for IVF in Studio City
Contact us today to book your first fertility acupuncture appointment, or learn more about how acupuncture can help you improve your fertility and grow your family.