Acupuncture and IVF- FAQs

When should I start having acupuncture for IVF ?

Generally the ideal preparation treatment time to have acupuncture  for IVF would be 3 months. However sometimes this isn’t practical and a shorter treatment time is required. We can see people for the long protocol at the beginning of down regulation. For the short protocol prior to their last period.

How many sessions are required?

This is dependent on your own particular history and individual circumstances. After our initial consultation you will be given your own individual treatment programme.  Generally speaking if you are having Acupuncture during your IVF cycle the treatments are weekly. Occasionally twice weekly around the stimulation phase if there is an issue of low AMH ( low ovarian reserve) or if you anxiety levels are very high.

Can Acupuncture help IVF Success rates?

There is lots of research to show that having acupuncture can help  maximise chances of IVF success.  There is one study printed in the British medical Journal that reports women who have acupuncture have a 65% higher success rates. So yes it works however nothing is guaranteed.  IVF can be a roller coaster of emotions and Acupuncture can help to calm anxiety and stress and support this process.  Most if not all patients report a feeling of deep relaxation  and calm after an acupuncture session. There is also significant research evolving to suggest that women who are calmer and have less cortisol (stress hormones) have better IVF results. We have achieved a number of pregnancies with our Acupuncture and IVF treatments.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

The answer is yes. Acupuncture is an extremely safe treatment provided you see a properly trained Acupuncturist. As a British Acupuncture Council member we observe a strict code of conduct and professional ethics. All BAcC members are on a register that is monitored by the Professional Standards Authority of Health and Social Care. So you can trust you are in safe hands. At our clinic we treat pregnant women and even children. Most patients report a feeling of deep calm and well being after a session.

Can I have acupuncture during the two week wait?

Yes this is a great time to have a session.  During this period anxiety levels can be high. The acupuncture can be used to calm down anxiety and stress. Many women find acupuncture during this period of their IVF cycle beneficial.

Should I have acupuncture only before and after embryo transfer?

Acupuncture research shows that acupuncture before and after embryo transfer can maximise chances of IVF success by 65%. However it is recommended to to have 8 – 12 treatments three months prior to your IVF cycle to maximise egg quality.  An egg development cycle is three months.  If there is a history of failed IVF again we would recommend a longer period of preparation time.

Benefits before: Acupuncture improves egg maturation, quality and ovarian reserve. Regulates reproductive hormones. Increases the responsiveness of the ovaries to the hormones and improves the body’s energy and overall health in preparation for conception and pregnancy.

Benefits during: Acupuncture increases the blood flow to the uterus. Improves the quality of the endometrium lining. Acupuncture relaxes the uterus and decreases uterine contractions. Reduces stress and anxiety and gives embryos an optimal environment rich in blood supply necessary for successful implantation.

Benefits after: Acupuncture helps to assist feotal development, decrease pregnancy complications, helps prevent miscarriages and minimises morning sickness in pregnancy.

Can I have acupuncture after a failed IVF?

IVF doesn’t work every time, there could be many reasons why the cycle didn’t work.  However just as you are continuing with another cycle of IVF, it is equally important to maximises your chances of success by including acupuncture in your treatment plan.

Can Acupuncture help me feel less stressed?

Yes there is lots of research to show that acupuncture works to relax the nervous system and reduce stress hormones. Most patients report a feeling of deep relaxation and improved sleep after a session.