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  • Acupuncture for IVF Support | with Rebecca Tanner

    December 08, 2022 3 min read

    Acupuncture for IVF support
    For many women undergoing IVF treatments can be particularly stressful.

    With an ever growing interest in alternative medicine and complementary therapies, namely acupuncture, research is showing that not only can acupuncture improve your chances of conceiving but it may also help reduce stress and anxiety.

    Acupuncture treatment helps to stimulate blood flow to the uterus, assisting menstruation and ovulation. Exploring wellness options to complement traditional Western medicine treatments is quickly becoming a more viable option for those with the desire to start or grow a family.

    What is acupuncture?

    As an ancient traditional Chinese treatment, acupuncture takes a holistic and natural approach to understanding, treating and preventing illness. From a TCM practitioner perspective, it is thought that illness and health issues stem from stagnation of the body’s natural flow of chi (energy) in the body. It involves stimulating the body’s chi with tiny needle injections, strategically placed in different areas of the body to align with patient’s treatment goals. Typically an appointment can last any time from 40-60 minutes to allow time for a discussion with your practitioner and to comfortably rest with the small needles inserted. For fertility cases, needles are generally focused around legs, lower back or lower abdomen.

    How does acupuncture relate to fertility?

    Acupuncture therapy can be helpful when trying to conceive, before beginning fertility treatment or during pregnancy.

    Have you been unsuccessful over several months or years of trying to become pregnant? Acupuncture can be beneficial with or without fertility assistance. In fact if you’re trying to conceive naturally, acupuncturists recommend undergoing weekly treatment for approximately 8-12 weeks.

    A review of close to 2000 women taking Chinese herbal medicine found it doubled the pregnancy rate over four months compared to Western medicine. They also determined a key factor in achieving a successful pregnancy was the quality of the menstrual cycle: something Chinese medicine has sought to address for many centuries.

    Can you support IVF cycles with acupuncture?

    Acupuncture can assist as you prepare for an IVF cycle by improving the menstrual cycle, promoting ovulation and relieving stress as it works on calming the central nervous system. Based on an analysis of recent studies, acupuncture improves the clinical pregnancy rate among women undergoing IVF.

    A study that looked at the use of Chinese medicine as a whole found that, IVF in combination with adjuvant Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine was associated with greater odds of live birth in donor and non-donor cycles.

    It was also found that acupuncture may improve the clinical pregnancy rate and on-going pregnancy rate and lower the risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome in women with PCOS undergoing IVF.

    If you’re currently going through IVF, discuss this with your fertility specialist. Your Acupuncturist and fertility specialist can work together for best results.

    How does acupuncture assist with male fertility?

    It takes two to tango and 50% of the DNA of your baby comes from the male. Acupuncture and herbal medicine may optimise your partner's health and increase the chance of a successful pregnancy - increasing sperm count, quality, motility and even DNA quality.

    Other benefits of acupuncture.

    Research shows that acupuncture helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It is believed that acupuncture can improve quality of life and reduce stress levels during fertility treatment. This may provide an easier path towards pregnancy.
    For pregnant women, acupuncture along with a balanced and nourishing diet and healthy lifestyle can help to lower stress, nausea and lower back pain or pressure which is commonly experienced in the later stages of pregnancy.

    If youre considering using acupuncture, herbal medicine or naturopathy support on your fertility or pregnancy journey, you can book a complementary call with Rebecca. It is important you feel like this treatment is the right fit for you at where you are on your journey. 

    If you are interested in acupuncture for natural fertility support you can book a consult with Rebecca here.
    Love Rebecca,
    Naturopathic clinician and Acupuncturist, Rebecca Tanner, enjoys blending eastern and western healing traditions and is experienced in treating a wide range of female health concerns.

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