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Fertility, ART/IVF & Acupuncture

Research has shown that acupuncture has a positive effect on success rates of egg retrieval, embryo transfer, implantation, pregnancy and live birth for people undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), mostly in the process of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).  The treatment aims to enhance patient’s response to pharmacological drugs, relieve some of the side effects of the "trigger" medication, treat any adverse effects(such as Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome, OHSS), address any underlying TCM pathology, and support them emotionally.  Acupuncture can also help reduce the severity of various conditions, such as endometriosis, irregular cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), ovulatory dysfunction, tubal pathology, thyroid disease and male factor subfertility, to increase the chances of natural conception or improve the outcomes of ART/IVF.

Acupuncture treatment aims to improve the outcomes of each phase before and during ART/IVF:

  • Preparation phase (3-4 months)  -  address any underlying TCM pathology, support the patient emotionally, optimize the body systems for the upcoming ART procedures

  • Pretreatment phase (up to 4 weeks) - treat any adverse effects of medication, improve the blood supply to ovaries and uterus, increase FSH and LH secretions, continue to address any underlying TCM pathology, support the patient emotionally

  • Ovarian stimulation phase (on average 12 days) - increase the number of retrieved eggs, increase endometrial thickness

  • Egg retrieval phase  -  reduce pains and treat other adverse symptoms during and after the egg retrieval procedure

  • In vitro fertilization & embryo culture phase  -  treatment is not needed with exception of signs of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome)
  • Embryo transfer and luteal phase (the last 2 weeks)  -  improve embryo implantation, increase clinical pregnancy rates