Acupuncture for Fertility

With years of experience, the Cincinnati Acupuncture Clinic has established itself as a specialist in fertility treatment, specifically in providing support for IVF or IUI cycles.

 

We specialize in assisting with various western diagnoses related to infertility, such as primary and secondary infertility, autoimmune infertility, amenorrhea, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. We also provide support for recurrent miscarriage, low ovarian reserve, poor sperm morphology, low sperm count, as well as procedures like IUI, IVF, frozen embryo transfer, and donor egg transfer.

 

Infertility, which is defined as the failure of a couple to become pregnant after 12 months or more of sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptives, is becoming an increasingly commonplace problem in the United States. The combination of factors like advanced maternal age, high stress, and environmental toxins contribute to around 7.3 million women in the U.S. experiencing infertility.

 

Specifically, acupuncture can help a couple achieve a successful pregnancy by:

  •    Improving blood flow to the reproductive organs
  •    Increasing the thickness of the uterine lining
  •    Normalizing levels and improving responsiveness to reproductive hormones
  •    Promoting deep relaxation and decreasing the negative effects of stress, which can be a huge hindrance to fertility
  •    Regulating menstrual cycles and ovulation
  •    Helping to address gynecological issues such as PCOS, endometriosis, and fibroids, which can negatively affect fertility
  •    Helping to address thyroid problems, which can contribute to infertility
  •    Increasing the success rate of IVF by boosting the number of follicles produced, improving the quality of the uterine lining, and encouraging implantation
  •    Addressing male factor infertility by improving sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology

 

Increasingly, couples are turning to Assistive Reproductive Techniques (ART), like Invitro Fertilization (IVF) to help with conception. Studies have shown that acupuncture can significantly enhance the effectiveness of IVF. A recent review of several well-conducted studies concluded that acupuncture could increase the success rate of IVF by 75%. When used along with IVF, acupuncture can improve outcomes by:

  •     Increasing ovarian response to follicular stimulating hormones
  •     Improving estrogen levels if they are low
  •     Enhancing egg quality by increasing blood flow and nutrients to follicles
  •     Improving sperm quality
  •     Reducing the side effects of IVF drugs
  •     Increasing thickness of the uterine lining
  •     Encouraging implantation
  •     Minimizing stress associated with the IVF process, which can hinder success
  •     Reducing post-transfer uterine cramping, which may have a negative impact on implantation 

The right way to plan an acupuncture session during IVF.

Acupuncture is a very effective supporting treatment for women undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization), making the process more comfortable, less stressful, and increasing odds of success. Research shows that couples using acupuncture along with IVF have more than double the chances of conception. The careful scheduling of acupuncture appointments is crucial for maximizing the chances of achieving positive outcomes. Each person's treatments are personalized, so recommendations may differ based on your health and history.

 

BEFORE AN IVF CYCLE

We suggest patients begin weekly acupuncture sessions three months prior to starting an IVF cycle. Our focus during this process is on overall health and wellbeing, enhancing a woman's energy reserves, and optimizing circulation.

 

PRIMING PHASE

Throughout the priming phase, we will maintain a weekly acupuncture schedule.

For patients who are just getting started with acupuncture, we recommend sessions twice per week.

 

STIMULATION PHASE

While using medications to stimulate ovarian egg production, ensure regular acupuncture sessions, either weekly or twice a week.

 

1-2 DAYS PRIOR TO RETRIEVAL

Once the ovarian follicles are at the right stage and size, you'll be provided with a trigger to complete egg maturation prior to retrieval.

Acupuncture shortly before retrieval can promote the final maturation of eggs.

 

BETWEEN RETRIEVAL AND EMBRYO TRANSFER

You may experience cramping and discomfort after the eggs are retrieved. During this time, acupuncture aims to relax the uterus, improve circulation, and ready the body for embryo transfer. We'll plan an acupuncture session within the 3-5 day window between egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

 

AFTER EMBRYO TRANSFER

Acupuncture just before or after an embryo transfer will increase the odds of a successful pregnancy. Since transfer procedures are usually in the early morning, we will try to schedule acupuncture later on the same day or the next day, and a second session 3-4 days after that. We will continue weekly acupuncture sessions from embryo transfer until the end of the 1st trimester to promote a healthy pregnancy.