Acupuncture can assist infertility in any stage you are at. Whether you are trying naturally, using Clomid, injectable medications, IUI, IVF, working with a donor program, or doing a frozen embryo transfer—we have the experience to work with you. We are proud and happy to share in changing lives of many couples and families!
What are the benefits of acupuncture for fertility?
- Increases the blood flow to the uterus, therefore, thickens the lining benefiting implantation
- Positively impacts fertility hormones such as FSH, LH, E2, Progesterone
- Lowers stress hormones responsible for infertility
- Benefits male factor infertility by increasing total concentration, motility and morphology of sperm
- Regulates menstruation and ovulation
When during my cycle should I get acupuncture done?
Acupuncture treatments should be done on a regular basis throughout your cycle. In comparison to fertility drugs which provide a powerful effect for a short duration, the immediate effect of acupuncture treatment can be subtle. However, the cumulative effect from regular acupuncture treatments can produce significant long lasting benefits.
How does acupuncture influence the female reproductive system?
Acupuncture has shown to promote the circulation of blood in the pelvic cavity and improve ovarian function, oftentimes decreasing day 3 follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Acupuncture treatment may be beneficial in promoting follicle production, enhancing uterine blood flow and improving uterine lining thickness.
How does acupuncture assist in improving the likelihood of pregnancy?
Although acupuncture plays a beneficial role in enhancing the female reproductive system, one should not regard acupuncture as a cure for infertility. Our treatments focus on optimizing a patient’s entire system and are intended to improve overall health. As a result, fertility may be greatly enhanced. It is agreed upon by fertility specialists that the healthier the patient, the success rate of assisted reproduction is increased. Thus, acupuncture can be used to improve one’s overall health status, thereby positively working in conjunction with and enhancing the results of assisted fertility treatments.
My FSH is too high. Does acupuncture correct hormonal imbalance?
Many of our patients seek acupuncture to help in correcting their hormone imbalances (FSH, LH, progesterone, prolactin etc.). Regular acupuncture treatments can be very helpful in regulating hormonal imbalances by influencing the hormonal regulation centers in the brain and autonomic nervous system (i.e., the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis) and as a result, improvement in hormonal status can occur over time.
As I receive a series of treatments, how do I know that acupuncture is working for me?
If you are not presently on hormones, we recommend that you record your basal body temperature (BBT) daily. The BBT chart is not the best method available to detect the exact timing of ovulation, however, it provides a good method to view hormone fluctuation patterns and we can often detect your progress by observing changes in the BBT pattern from month to month. As mentioned earlier, the focus of our acupuncture approach is to help improve overall health. Therefore, as patients receive a series of acupuncture treatments, many of them experience enhanced feelings of well-being such as improved sleep, better digestion, decreased anxiety and depression, increase of energy, etc. These physical and emotional enhancements can only positively influence the chance of conceiving regardless of whether one is trying naturally or undergoing medical reproductive treatment.
Where are you going to place the needles?
The location of acupuncture points will vary from each patient based on the Chinese medicine diagnosis and from treatment to treatment dependant on the phase of the cycle. Some acupuncture points used to influence the function of the female reproductive organs are located on the lower back, lower abdomen, and legs. The points on head, neck, upper back and arms are used in order to stimulate autonomic nervous system and further induce the relaxation response.
How long will I need treatments?
Some patients respond to acupuncture quickly, becoming pregnant in the first month of treatment, but in most cases, acupuncture certainly does not work overnight. Most patients require a series of ongoing treatments over a few months to a year. The follicle’s growth phase begins about 90 days before the egg is ovulated. Due to this fact, we recommend a minimal treatment of 3 consecutive months to best facilitate the quality of eggs produced especially in starting assisted fertility such as IUI or IVF. It is recommended to receive a treatment 1 to 2 times a week until the day of the insemination or transfer.
What about taking herbs?
Herbal medicine is a common adjunct to acupuncture to perform many functions such as regulating menstruation, promoting follicle production, promoting ovulation, increasing the thickness of the endometrium, reducing PMS and painful periods, generating energy, regulating emotions, and much more. One should be aware that when using any herbs while undergoing ART (such as IVF), interactions between herbs and hormone medications are generally unknown but have been used successfully without notable interactions.