At Alquimiis here to help with your ability to conceive either naturally or by working in conjunction with medical treatment.
There has been significant research done on the benefits of acupuncture in supporting women through assisted reproductive technologies (ART). According to the Paulus study, a 25 minute treatment before and after an embryo transfer increases the chance of a successful pregnancy. Recently, some of this research was conducted at The Northwest Center for Reproductive Sciences (now Seattle Reproductive Medicine). Lee Hullender-Rubin along with Dr. Mike Opsahl reviewed the pregnancy rates of patients who underwent embryo transfers at NCRS from 2005-2008. They found that patients who received acupuncture had higher ongoing pregnancy rates than those who did not. In fact, acupuncture significantly increased the odds of pregnancy, up to 2.23 times in fresh-non-doner IVF patients!
Moreover, in another published study, researchers found that when combining IUI with acupuncture treatments, 65.5% of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4% of the control group, who received no acupuncture therapy.
Acupuncture, frequently combined with herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat some but not all causes of infertility. For example, acupuncture and herbs will not work to address tubal adhesions which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
However, in this situation, an individual could still benefit from acupuncture and herbs because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.
Who Make Up Typical Patients?
Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture. Acupuncture is often combined with herbal remedies to treat elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)with annovulatory cycles and male factor including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation.
How does Acupuncture Help?
How can acupuncture have such a profound effect on the most technologically advanced fertility treatment available?
Insemination and IVF success rates can be optimized by:
increasing the blood flow to the ovaries to nourish the developing follicles and create better egg quality and stronger embryos.
increasing blood flow to the testicles for improved sperm quality to optimize the male’s contribution to embryo quality. (Note: this is particularly important in couples who experience repeated chemical pregnancies with IVF + ICSI.)
regulating the body’s natural hormonal production which in turn improves ovarian function, egg quality, and proper progesterone levels.
relaxing the body and reducing stress levels to improve reproductive function
Acupuncture can accomplish all this by very simply increasing blood circulation. The blood carries the nutrients, hormones, and other healing factors needed for the reproductive organs such as the ovaries, uterus, testicles, and brain to function optimally. Just as your body can heal itself from minor injuries by automatically increasing blood flow to the affected area with healing agents, the insertion of acupuncture needles stimulates blood flow to the areas where the acupuncture needles are inserted.
ACUPUNCTURE AND IVF
According to statistics, an increasing number of women are currently seeking methods to help cope with fertility issues. One of the most commonly used is in Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In a widely published study, they found that using acupuncture along with IVF achieved a 42.5% clinical pregnancy rate compared to only 26% in the group that did not receive acupuncture.
Our patients undergoing IVF typically come to see us twice a week during the stimulations phase of their IVF cycles. They come in for one treatment before retrieval, one between retrieval and transfer, one just after transfer, and one a week after transfer.
It is our suggestion to begin acupuncture treatments 2 - 4 months prior to your IVF procedure. In Post IVF, we suggest acupuncture treatments once a week in your first trimester, to help increase the chance of a successful IVF.
ACUPUNCTURE AND IUI
We recommend weekly treatments while going through the process. When you are undergoing IUI’s, we will be working to promote all 4 phases of the cycle, very similarly to when you are doing natural cycles. Some people are doing “Natural” IUI’s (without medications) while other are including some kind of medication in their cycles. Depending on your protocol, we will determine if acupuncture alone, or combined with herbs will be right for you. Weekly acupuncture treatment is recommended to encourage all 4 phases of the cycle. Some opt to include an extra session around the time of the IUI.
• regulates the hormones
• increased blood flow to the uterus
• improves functions of the ovaries
• alleviates stress and anxiety
• reduces uterine contractions
• decreases chances of miscarriages
• keeps your body balanced
• alleviates fatigue