Just as research into medically assisted reproduction technologies (ART), such as IVF, is an ever-growing field, so is research into how acupuncture may be used to assist in supporting these technologies.
Over the last twenty years, leading journals have published studies showing research evidence of how Chinese medicine may be used as an adjunct therapy to assist with the effectiveness of different stages of the IVF process (see the references here). There is also broad agreement amongst Chinese medicine practitioners and other health practitioners about the value of acupuncture in this regard.
Considering how much people invest physically, emotionally and financially into ART in Australia alone, this is very promising and exciting.
At Moxa, Jodi uses treatments based on the appropriate researched protocols to complement your stage of the IVF process. Generally, this involves a treatment each week and additional treatments on the day of the embryo transfer, both directly before and after the procedure.
Whilst more research is needed in order to provide definitive evidence, current studies show that at different times in the ART cycle, acupuncture may be able to assist by helping to:
- increase blood and hence nutrient flow to the ovaries and uterus
- regulate hormone levels
- manage discomfort or other side effects of fertility procedures such as egg pickup
- influence the structure of the uterine lining and promote implantation and clinical pregnancy rates
- support people through what is often an incredibly anxious and stressful time
To read more about this please see the research section.
If male infertility factors are at play, acupuncture may be used similarly to promote emotional wellbeing, and potentially improve sperm quantity, quality and motility (see references).
These optimal sperm parameters may be supported by acupuncture increasing blood and nutrient supply to the testes. As this increased supply likely supports sperm health generally, there is argument to have pre-conception acupuncture treatments even when sperm parameters are within acceptable ranges. Additionally, knowing how stressful the day of sperm donation may be for some, we also advise a treatment this day to help alleviate worries and again attempt to increase blood flow to the genitals.
For more information about the fertility, pregnancy and post-pregnancy treatments and support available at our West End centre in Brisbane, visit: