Experienced and Understanding Practitioners
We understand the many stresses encountered by people having assisted reproduction and have worked with patients who have been through all of the major fertility clinics in London (e.g. The Lister, ARGC, CRGH, Bart's, Guy's etc). Women who come to us for complementary treatment usually find that they feel much more relaxed and in control if they have acupuncture during an assisted cycle.
Our Commitment to Patients Undergoing IVF/ICSI
Embryo transfer occurs within 5 days of egg collection, although it is usually on day 3 or day 5. Ideally, consultants like development to continue to blastocyst stage before transferring the embryo back, but sometimes circumstances require an earlier transfer, with very short notice given by the clinic. This can be a very stressful time, so we make every effort to ensure that we can see you both before and after embryo transfer on the day that you need, even if your transfer is on a Sunday or bank holiday.
When Should You Come In?
Ideally your acupuncture treatment would begin a few months prior to your IVF treatment. We would work with you to improve and regulate your menstrual cycle, nourish the uterus and endometrium and attempt to increase the quality of the eggs. Closer to the IVF date, we would further nourish the uterus and ovaries so that more good quality follicles can be extracted.
In the study described below, it was found that the chances of pregnancy were increased if acupuncture treatment was given just prior to and then just after the IVF treatment itself. The treatment just before helps to invigorate the blood flow to the pelvic region to increase receptiveness to the embryo. The treatment after helps to stabilise the body and help to keep the embryo safe. It also helps to calm and relax the uterus so that the egg is not rejected.
Recent study shows that acupuncture improves the chances of pregnancy
In April 2002, the results of a study into the effects of acupuncture on women who were undergoing assisted reproduction therapy was published in 'Fertility and Sterility', the official publication of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (Fertility and Sterility vol. 77 (4), pp. 721-724 (2002)).
The researchers' aim was to determine the effects of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment before and after embryo transfer with a second group receiving no acupuncture. The acupuncture points chosen were selected according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
160 patients took part in the trial and were randomly assigned to one of the two groups. 34 out of 80 (42.5%) patients in the acupuncture group became pregnant, as opposed to 21 out of 80 (26.3%) in the control group. These results are significant and suggest that acupuncture does indeed improve the pregancy rate for women undergoing ART.
If you are already undergoing conventional treatment for fertility, our treatment can be viewed as truly complementary. We embrace an integrated approach to health and medicine, and will do whatever we can to help support your ongoing treatments. As well as enhancing fertility itself, acupuncture can be very helpful in reducing any unwanted side-effects of conventional medication, as well as giving your energy a boost. It is also great for calming any troubled emotions, worries or anxiety.
Acupuncture and IVF treatment