This is the fifth in a series about acupuncture and IVF written by Jessica Yunker, one of my associates. Jessica is an expert in infertility, womens’ health, and acupuncture for IVF.
Acupuncturists and fertility clinics often recommend acupuncture on the day of IVF transfer. There is quite a bit of research indicating that acupuncture improves the chances of a successful transfer and pregnancy.
On the transfer day, your acupuncturist will meet with you two times – immediately before and immediately after the transfer happens at your doctor’s office. In my practice, the acupuncture / transfer schedule looks something like this:
- You are scheduled for an appointment with the fertility doctor for the transfer.
- We meet at my acupuncture office about 90 minutes before transfer is scheduled to occur.
- I choose acupuncture points based on successful research about acupuncture and IVF. This is the “pre-transfer” treatment, and you can rest for about 30 minutes with needles inserted.
- The needles are removed, and you make your way to the doctor’s office, where fertilized embryos are transferred to your uterus.
- After being cleared to leave the doctor’s office, you call me to say that you’re on your way back to my office for the “post-transfer” treatment.
- The needles for the “post-transfer” treatment are inserted, and you are left to relax for about 30 minutes.
- Go home to rest!
What are these “pre-transfer” and “post-transfer” treatments for?
The pre-transfer acupuncture treatment is used to help dilate the cervix, which makes it easier for the embryos to be inserted into the uterus. It also helps improve circulation of blood to the uterus, thus creating a thicker uterine lining. There are points to calm your whole nervous system, as well as the uterus itself. The uterus should be calmed to decrease cramping and uterine contractions.
The post-transfer acupuncture treatment continues these ideas – it circulates blood to the uterus and nourishes the newly transferred embryo so that it can grow, and helps to prevent contractions of the uterus.
The fertility doctor will ask you to return for a pregnancy test about ten days after the transfer. Hopefully, the IVF has been successful and you have a positive pregnancy test!
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.