This is the fourth in a series about acupuncture and IVF written by Jessica Yunker, my associates. Jessica is an expert in infertility, womens’ health, and acupuncture for IVF.
Acupuncture is helpful at each stage of the IVF cycle.
In our last article we introduced the IVF procedure. In this article, we’ll discuss in depth the key ways acupuncture can enhance fertility and optimize the chances of a successful IVF cycle.
Acupuncture helps IVF by…
1. Regulate the cycle: Your fertility doctor will start you on hormones to regulate your cycle. During this time, acupuncture can be used to regulate qi (energy) throughout your body, improve blood circulation, and calm your whole nervous system. Acupuncture can be very effective in regulating the cycle, too.
2. Stimulate the ovaries: Around Day 2 of your period, you will start hormone treatments to stimulate the ovaries and make more follicles. Acupuncture can help at this stage by assisting you in producing more follicles. Acupuncture can also help thicken the lining of the uterus, which allows the transferred embryos to attach more easily to your uterus.
3. Reduce side effects of IVF medications: Some women experience side effects from the medications that are used during IVF. These side effects might include things like abdominal bloating, abdominal or uterine cramping, mood swings, or mild depression. Acupuncture may help with many of these types of problems.
4. Retrieval of eggs: Your doctor will remove your mature eggs for fertilization in the lab. Retrieval is a surgical procedure which sometimes causes discomfort for women. Acupuncture can be useful at this stage to prevent or stop uterine cramping, reduce irritation or inflammation from the surgery, and address any side effects from the hormones and medication.
5. Transfer of embryos: The eggs and sperm are combined in a lab and watched carefully for three or five days. The doctor will select the fertilized eggs that look most promising and transfer them back to the uterus.
If you would like to find out more about acupuncture and IVF, please e-mail or call Jessica at 917.596.6385. Mention this article for a 10% discount on the initial consultation.