Acupuncture and IVF
As IVF statistics continue to increase, do we need acupuncture and Chinese medicine? Let’s go back. When Acupuncture Northwest was founded in 2000, IVF success rates were being reported at 21.8% (1.). As of 2012, some IVF clinics are boasting up to 82.4% success rate (with women under 35) and 47.1% (with women 41-42 years of age) (2.). With all of this progress in the field of reproductive medicine, does acupuncture still have a place?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has at least 3 major roles to play in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART):
- Further increase IVF success rates, including an increase in blood flow to the ovaries and uterus (see the Research Pages).
- Decrease the side effects of the medications.
- Getting the parent(s) in the best health possible so you can optimize your health and the health of your unborn child through pre-conception care.
When preparing for IVF, it is recommended that both partners who are contributing DNA to this child (both male and female) begin TCM treatment at least 3 months prior to egg retrieval or transfer. Normally, you are seen once a week until the stimulation medications begin and then you are seen twice a week. Maya abdominal massage can be added in during this time as well and can also be very helpful in preparing for IVF.
- Data on IVF clinics show wide variation in success rate, BMJ. 2002 August 31; 325(7362): 460. PMCID: PMC1169457