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. Several studies suggest that acupuncture can improve the chances of a succesful IVF cycle; but other studies haven’t backed this up. There is a dearth of good research in this area and good studies are desperately needed to be done.
The video clip below is of weather presenter Clare Nasir describing her experiences of using acupuncture to complement IVF:
What do we aim to do with acupuncture supporting an IVF cycle?
As acupuncturists we can aim to assist an IVF cycle by aiding the flow of Blood and Qi/energy to the uterus. We can’t aim to treat pattern disharmonies as discussed elsewhere because a woman’s hormonal control is hijacked by the drugs used to ‘run’ the IVF cycle. But we can do our best to aid relaxation, a sense of control and general well-being. Studies have shown that women find acupuncture during IVF helpful (regardless of the end result).
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