East Meets West
Studies show acupuncture used in conjunction with IVF can be very effective. First, it helps minimize the negative side effects of the fertility drugs. Additionally, acupuncture can be used to improve the quality of sperm in men; the egg quality in woman; help ease movement down the fallopian tubes; and it has an effect on the uterine lining, encouraging high levels of progesterone and increasing blood flow to encourage implantation. When timed well, acupuncture treatments before the retrieval and after the transfer results in higher pregnancy rates. Lastly, acupuncture can be helpful in calming anxiety and balancing emotions during every phase of this process.
While IVF mainly focuses on the quantity of eggs produced, Chinese medicine practices focus on the quality of the eggs — how they’re nourished, grow and move down the fallopian tube.
Infertility is first diagnosed based on abnormalities in the menstrual cycle — primarily in ovulation and issues with implantation.
There are many ways to track ovulation: Basal body temperature, home ovulation predictor kits, and tracking cervical mucus changes. We identify problems by tracking patterns at every phase of the period.
Once we determine the problem (if there is one), we create a treatment plan for each phase of the cycle. It becomes a multi-pronged approach including herbs, supplements, lifestyle and dietary changes to support acupuncture treatments — and it’s entirely personalized to each patient.
Acupuncture is initiated to regulate the cycle, creating an optimal environment for ovulation, implantation and conception. Once pregnancy is viable, there is a great deal that can be done to help address pregnancy symptoms for a safe and smooth journey.