Acupuncture is a very popular treatment with patients having an IVF cycle. Acupuncture and IVF can be a mutually synergistic blend of ancient and modern treatments. If you are considering acupuncture for IVF I offer a free 20 minute consultation to discuss how acupuncture may be of benefit to you.
Since the first IVF baby in 1978 more than 3 million babies have been born with ART methods. Every year in the UK, 32,000 couples receive IVF treatment, with around 11,000 babies born annually as a result. This accounts for 1% of all births.
Infertility now affects 1 in 7 couples, and the number seeking help has risen by over 55% in the last 5 years. However, IVF is only around 30% successful and the average cost of one cycle in Great Britain is about £4,000 including drugs. Lower odds will be given for certain conditions and some treatments, such as ICSE, are more expensive still. I’m often asked about specific procedures, such as ’embryo-glue’. I’ve found a nice summary of the evidence base here.
Acupuncture is a hugely popular alternative treatment to run alongside an IVF cycle. Recent research has found:
- acupuncture to have a significant treatment effect in improving birth rates of sub fertile women undergoing IVF or ICSI
- As well as treatment around egg collection acupuncture should be administered during ovarian stimulation. The aim should be to improve embryo and blastocyst quality, rather than focus on acupuncture post-fertilisation
- Acupuncture may be a suitable treatment option to help reduce stress and anxiety levels for women suffering with subfertility
- Research indicates that the effectiveness of acupuncture may be dose-dependent, i.e. a sufficient number of acupuncture treatments are required over an adequate period of time
Acupuncture Sessions Guide
A comprehensive acupuncture treatment management approach may be required prior to an IVF or ICSI cycle, for example lasting three to six months pre-treatment, to influence folliculogenesis. Acupuncture should be administered at the start of an assisted reproduction cycle, and frequently during the beginning of ovarian stimulation up to egg maturation. The aim should be to influence the response and development of ovarian follicles via improved blood flow, and embryo or blastocyst quality. Male factor sub fertility could also be addressed.
The video clip below is of weather presenter Clare Nasir describing her experiences of using acupuncture to complement IVF:
My own experience.
I have a long term interest and personal experience in the area of IVF and infertility. I fully respect the awesome process that IVF is but have first hand experience of the similar power of natural therapies. I am happy to discuss with you my own experience. I have practiced acupuncture for over 24 years and have undertaken extra studies in the speciality of IVF and infertility.
photo of sperm being injected into an ovum