Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. One in six couples in Australia and New Zealand suffer infertility. There are many possible causes of infertility. For women, it might be problems with the fallopian tubes, cervix or uterus, or related to menstrual cycle issues or endometriosis. For men, it can be caused by problems with the sperm, impotence, or obstructions to the passageway of sperm. Acupuncture for fertility is one way we can potentially help. If you’re interested in fertility acupuncture treatment in Perth then contact us today or visit one of our clinics.
If it is found that you are infertile, a fertility specialist can help you formulate the best treatment plan, and there are a number of options that can be considered including in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Many people now use complementary or alternative therapies to improve their overall physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Some women also consider using these therapies to prepare their body for pregnancy or support them through fertility treatment. Acupuncture for IVF Support is used as a supporting treatment for couples undergoing IVF. Many health practitioners may recommend acupuncture as an adjunct treatment that may assist with IVF treatment.
What is IVF?
IVF is just one of the treatments available for couples to explore. It’s a process where a woman’s eggs are fertilised with a man’s sperm outside of the body, and once they are fertilised, they are then transplanted into the woman’s body in the hope a successful pregnancy will follow.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment and a form of natural health care that takes a holistic approach to understanding, treating and preventing illness. Treatment is based on the theory that illness, disease and health problems stem from an interruption of the body’s natural flow of energy (called chi) in the body. Developed millennia ago in China, numerous recent studies conducted by scientists in Europe and the United States have found that acupuncture is at least moderately effective in treating pain and nausea.
The practice involves stimulating the body’s chi with tiny needles, in different areas of the body depending on the particular issue and treatment goals. An appointment usually lasts around one hour, and involves a thorough consultation before comfortably resting with the small needles inserted for about 30 minutes. In most fertility cases, the needles are focused around the legs, lower back or lower abdomen.
How acupuncture can help with IVF?
Acupuncture has grown in popularity in Australia as an adjunct to IVF treatment and is claimed to reduce stress, improve the quality of life while you’re undertaking treatment, and stimulate blood flow to the uterus influencing menstrual cycle and ovulation. There is continuing research about how acupuncture can assist with the effectiveness of IVF treatment. There is also broad agreement by Chinese medicine practitioners and other health practitioners about acupuncture as a supporting treatment for IVF. You should consult your treating practitioner about how acupuncture for IVF support may be able to help you.
The goal of acupuncture for IVF support is to ensure that the organs are nourished and the meridians or energy pathways are balanced. It also aims to ensure that a person’s health and wellbeing is addressed so that there is no external/internal? cause of disharmony within the body.
There are limited research conducted and information available about the effectiveness of acupuncture in IVF. Some limited studies have shown that acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer may improve implantation rates. While some studies do not support that acupuncture can improve pregnancy or live birth rates for women undergoing IVF. In one research, acupuncture was shown to reduce the emotional stress and burden experienced by women during IVF treatment. It would be helpful to see evidence of the effectiveness of these claims in large control trials, this remains to be an area of interest.
When to start acupuncture for IVF support?
When undertaking IVF, it is suggested to have a short treatment course prior to and immediately after an embryo transfer, in hope to increase the chances of implantation. This is because acupuncture may serve to relax the uterus at the time of transfer if undertaken at the correct time.
Because IVF treatments can be a stressful and emotional time for women and couples, continuing with acupuncture may assist in alleviating stress and allowing your body to function at its best possible health.
If you are already going through IVF treatment, it is important to discuss any intention to also undertake acupuncture with your fertility specialist first. By keeping both your fertility specialist and acupuncturist in the loop, you will ensure both parties work together to provide you with the best possible care and treatment.
We use acupuncture and Chinese medicine for IVF support.
- An initial consultation is necessary to determine the right acupuncture points and meridians for you based on your body condition.
- 2 – 3 treatments per week, for 30 minutes each time. A treatment course of acupuncture for infertility usually requires 12 sessions.
- For those who are in the period of ovulation, more sessions may be needed.
The length of the treatment varies in each case but we recommend regular acupuncture treatment and herbal intake starting before embryo transfer to delivery, which may decrease the chances of having a miscarriage.
For more information regarding fertility acupuncture at our Perth or Subiaco clinics, please call your closest location (Perth Clinic: 57/76 Newcastle Street (08) 9228 8828, Subiaco Clinic: 6/1 Sheen Street (08) 9380 4171). Alternatively, you can send us your queries through our online contact page.