Research shows that when used in conjunction with IVF treatments, fertility acupuncture can help to improve natural fertility and normalise hormone levels as well as reducing stress and anxiety.
As a result, many IVF clinics across the UK and around the world not only recommend but also support patients having acupuncture while receiving IVF treatment.
How does acupuncture help with IVF?
The complementary approach has proven to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, but how exactly does acupuncture help with IVF?
As mentioned above, there has been a range of research into the effectiveness of acupuncture with IVF, but it is important to note that work is ongoing.
That being said, studies have been conducted to explore how acupuncture can help to regulate the menstrual cycle as well as improving blood circulation to the uterus and ovaries.
This can help to decrease your stress responses, also known as the sympathetic state, and instead increase the body’s natural functions of ovulation and fertility in the parasympathetic state.
Acupuncture has also been studied for its efficacy in helping to support ovulation dysfunction in women and improving sperm health in men.
It is these areas of extensive and targeted research that have contributed to an increase in support for acupuncture with IVF from IVF clinics.
When to have acupuncture during IVF
When it comes to acupuncture, practitioners like to approach sessions by looking at an individual as a whole.
You may be undergoing IVF for fertility issues, but acupuncturists will take into account your lifestyle and your medical history as well as observing your general physical and emotional wellbeing to determine the correct approach.
Generally, IVF clinics advise that patients start their acupuncture treatments a few months before starting their IVF treatment with them.
Acupuncture works best when sessions are arranged regularly, which is why patients are encouraged to attend once a week in the two to three months prior.
This is based on the follicular growth cycle which last around 375 days, but it is only during the last 90 days of their development that follicles will have their own blood supply.
This blood supply helps to transfer oxygen, nutrients and hormones to the follicle as well as move waste and secretory products away.
Acupuncture can be helpful as a complementary approach during this window as the follicles will become much more responsive to external stimuli, helping to aid your IVF treatment.
Acupuncture points can be used by practitioners during this time to rebalance your body and calm your hormones ready for treatment.
Acupuncture with IVF can also be utilised mid cycle, as having an acupuncture session before an egg retrieval can be extremely effective in helping you to relax mentally and physically.
The gentle stimulation of the hair thin needles can assist in relaxing your muscles and tendons as well as improving pelvic blood flow.
If you are currently experiencing fertility issues, or are about to start IVF and would like to find out more about the benefits of Acupuncture as a complementary treatment, please get in touch today!
The team at Acupuncture That Works has experience assisting individuals with fertility issues, while our resident ‘Baby Maker’ Emma is renowned for helping women bring new life into the world!