Acupuncture is a great modality to help couples conceive naturally or to help the success of ART (assisted reproductive therapy) such as IUI or IVF. Couples are treated with appropriate acupuncture protocols to fit the constitution of each person. Regulating a woman’s cycle, reducing stress, applying exercise, and incorporating a whole foods diet can create an environment for optimal hormone functioning.
Acupuncture has also been proven to help improve IVF success rates. Acupuncture improves the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs; it regulates the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles; it increases the blood flow to the uterus and increases the thickness of the uterine lining; it relaxes the patient and decreases stress; it helps prevent uterine contractions; it lessens the side effects of the Western drugs used in IVF; it strengthens and regulates the patient’s immune system; it improves male semen to create better quality and quantity of embryos; and it decreases the chance of miscarriage.
For best results, Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese dietary and lifestyle therapy, should be used before, during, and after IVF. Chinese medicine can help prepare both partners before IVF to strengthen the function of the ovaries, regulate the immune system, reduce stress, and improve the quantity and of sperm and the quality of the seminal fluid. This is accomplished in the female partner by treating any menstrual irregularities, such as amenorrhea, PMS, endometriosis, uterine myomas (a.k.a. fibroids), or heavy bleeding due to lack of ovulation. Such preparatory treatment usually lasts 3-6 months. After successful implantation of the embryo has taken place, Chinese medicine can also be used to help prevent miscarriage.
In brief, Chinese medicine can help to improve the success rate of IVF in a number of ways:
- Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
- Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
- Relax the patient and decrease their stress
- Prevent the uterus from contracting
- Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve semen to create better quality and quantity of embryos