How is IVF Performed?

This article is the third in a series about acupuncture and IVF was written by Jessica Yunker, my associates.  Jessica is an expert in infertility, women’s health, and acupuncture for IVF.

Most fertility clinics and fertility specialists follow a similar protocol for IVF. First, a doctor will perform blood tests and give medications that regulate the woman’s menstrual cycle and boost the number of eggs she produces each month.

Next, the doctor retrieves the eggs and combines them with sperm in the lab, making sure to select the eggs and sperm that look most healthy. In some cases, sperm may be injected directly into the egg, a process called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Once the eggs are fertilized, they are allowed to develop in the lab for 3-5 days.

Finally, the doctor chooses the fertilized eggs that look the most developed and transfers the eggs back to the woman’s uterus, where one (or more) will hopefully attach to the uterus and continue to develop, resulting in pregnancy. The doctor will perform a blood test to check for pregnancy about ten days later.

When should I start acupuncture to help with IVF?

It is never to late to begin acupuncture for IVF.  Many people begin acupuncture in the middle of the IVF procedures.  And the effects of acupuncture can be both immediate and long-term.

Everyone is different, and the acupuncture treatment is personalized for each patient.  It is important to meet with your acupuncturist before the treatment in order to create the best plan.

Can acupuncture help on the day of transfer?

Yes, acupuncture is very helpful on the day of transfer.  Many fertility doctors specifically recommend that women come for acupuncture on the day of the transfer.  We’ll discusses acupuncture treatments on the day of transfer in more detail in the following posts.

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.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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