Fertility Support for IVF/IUI
If you are considering assisted reproductive technology (ART), which includes IUI and IVF, the addition of Chinese medicine to these therapies greatly improves the success of becoming pregnant. At the San Pedro Acupuncture Health Center we know having a baby and becoming a parent is full of unexpected ups and downs.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine help increase the rate of pregnancy, improve the egg quality, nourish the uterine lining, regulate reproductive hormones, improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, prevent miscarriage, lower ectopic pregnancy risks, reduce stress, and improve overall mood and sense of well being.
IVF and IUI medications can have many side effects on the body; acupuncture can assist the process by mitigating side effects of these medications including hot flashes, cramping, nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and fatigue. Remember, getting pregnant is the first step in becoming a pregnant. Being able to relax and enjoy the process will make everything run more smoothly.
The IVF Acupuncture Support Program
The World Health Organization considers acupuncture an effective treatment for infertility. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work in tandem with fertility medications to improve the quality of eggs and facilitate a healthy pregnancy. To that end there are many acupuncture protocols used in conjunction with the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) process for successful transfer of your embryo.
In an effort to prepare the mother’s body for a healthy pregnancy, we recommend starting treatments 1-2 times per week during the 3 month cycle prior to the start of your IVF cycle and weekly for the donor. If you have missed this window, don’t worry! Acupuncture can still be effective at any point in the process. We complement each phase of IVF with a treatment plan specific to the outcomes you and your MD are trying to achieve.
During this time our focus is to regulate the menstrual cycle, improve the uterine lining for better implantation, regulate reproductive hormones, improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, improve the quantity and quality of the follicles (120 days), significantly reduce stress, decrease the chance of miscarriage, improve male sperm factor: volume, motility, and morphology (90 days), and manage the side effects of fertility medications
On the day of transfer, if your reproductive center allows, it is recommended to have an acupuncture treatment immediately before and after transfer. If this is not an option for you, an acupuncture treatment within 4 hours of transfer has been shown to increase the probability of a successful transfer.
If you have had an unsuccessful transfer previously, we know how devastating that can feel. We want to give you the best odds for this cycle and we will be with you every step of the way. Your success is our success and we want to help you create the life you want for yourself and your family.
*Please note: transfer day is not the best time to experiment with your first acupuncture treatment. If you plan to have acupuncture on the day of transfer please schedule an initial consultation and first treatment at least one week prior.
Acupuncture for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
During an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), sperm is injected directly into a woman’s uterus to promote the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes in order to improve the likelihood of conception. By creating a healthy environment – improving your overall health and the overall health of your uterus – we facilitate the higher likelihood of fertilization, implantation and a healthy baby.
Much like the IVF support program, we use a comprehensive approach based on your individual health history. For best results, weekly treatments for the 3 months prior to the procedure are recommended. However, beginning treatment at any time prior to your scheduled IUI will be beneficial.