Traditionally acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to treat infertility for a few thousand years. Recently a few studies also showed acupuncture significant benefit women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.
If you are considering or are ready for IVF, we have designed a treatment plan for you. Our IVF support acupuncture protocols are evidence-based, and tailored for your individual conditions.
Who should consider IVF support acupuncture and /or Chinese medicine?
You may consider acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine if:
You are over 35
or any of the following situation applies to you:
Preparation for IVF cycle
Before start IVF stimulation we suggest a 3 month preparation for your body. In this time we will try to address any condition that could affect your IVF success. Treatments include acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine, diet supplements and life style advice. Other therapies may be used such as cupping, massage therapy, moxibusion.
This treatment aim to benefit some of the following conditions:
- Excess weight
- Amenorrhea – no period
- No ovulation or no regular ovulation
- Age related infertility
- Luteal phase defect
Once you start drug stimulation we will stop all Chinese herbal medicine. This is to ensure no drug-herb interactions. However, acupuncture is continued twice weekly until transfer.
On the day of embryo transfer
We suggest acupuncture two times on the day of embryo transfer – before and after. After transfer you may continue acupuncture every 3 days. If tested positive, we recommend acupuncture once per week up to week 13.
Repeated embryo implantation failure
In this case we recommend the 3 month preparation treatment.
If you are having a natural cycle FET (frozen embryo transfer) we recommend acupuncture twice weekly before transfer.While on the day of EFT you may need have two treatment – before and after transfer.
This treatment aim to benefit:
- repeated IVF transfers with no success
- repeated miscarriages with unknown reason
- advanced age women at risk of miscarriage
- endometrial lining is thin or poor in quality
Poor responders to FSH stimulation
You may have at least one stimulation with poor response, such as little or no follicle growing. In TCM few follicles growth suggests your fertility energy – the ‘Jing’ has been depleted. In this case we highly recommend you have 3 months preparation before start next stimulation cycle. Treatment includes regular acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, vitamins and dietary changes. Most of these patients are at low risk of hyper-stimulation, therefore you may continue Chinese herbal medicine right through the stimulation.
This treatment aim to benefit:
- multiple IVF stimulations with very small amounts or no follicles collected
- multiple IVF stimulations with decreasing amounts of follicles collected
- age related infertility
Poor egg quality
Some women have a large amount of follicles collected. However few of the follicles are of maturity, poor quality and or do not survive. We recommend 3 months preparation before the next IVF stimulation cycles begins.
Treatment includes regular acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, supplements and dietary changes.
Traditional Chinese medicine prospective: You may have many follicles collected however none survived for transfer. This suggests that your ovaries may lack the ‘Qi’ (vital energy). Your ovaries’ blood circulation also failed to nourish and develop the follicles.
– it takes two
The quality and quantity of sperm can be an issue even when ICSI is being used. We suggest acupuncture treatment weekly. It can be combined with vitamin supplements and Chinese herbal medicine. Treatment is 3 months prior to IVF as a full sperm regeneration cycle takes over 2 months.
Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer
- Two acupuncture treatment on the day of embryo transfer: One before the transfer and another one after.
- Each treatment lasts from 25 to 30 minutes.
Acupuncture before and during the medication phase of IVF
Clinical trials showed that acupuncture before and during IVF increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. In addition, acupuncture appears to regulate fertility hormones which may contribute to follicle development and increased implantation. These trials reported increased pregnancy rates based on this protocol.
- Two treatments per week for six weeks before egg retrieval (optimal) plus
- treatment at the time of embryo transfer (schedule 1)
Acupuncture three days after egg collection
In order to help prepare a calm environment for the arrival of an embryo for day five transfers, we recommend that acupuncture three days after egg collection . This treatment can be combined with the programs above.
- One treatment 2~3 days after the egg collection
Acupuncture for frozen embryo transfer including donor eggs
Acupuncture treatment before and during IVF increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. And acupuncture appears to regulate fertility hormones which may help follicle development and improve implantation.
- Two treatments per week for four weeks before embryo transfer, plus treatment on the day of transfer.
Fully qualified practitioners
At Almond Wellness Centre all practitioners are full time (5~8 years) university trained, fully qualified. Everyone meets the highest standard of Australian health registration requirement (AHPRA).
We’ve also completed extensive trainings in reproductive health. Trainings include TCM gynaecology and obstetrics, IVF acupuncture support, and pre/ post natal treatment.
Our practitioners have abundant knowledge including Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern medicine in women’s health and fertility.
7 day Clinics
For your convenience, both coburg and ringwood acupuncture clinics are open 7 days per week.
If you’ve already booked an Embryo Transfer with your IVF clinic, please talk to our friendly receptionist. We may be able to book IVF support acupuncture on any day as a prioritising appointment.
Have question? Want to make an appointment? Feel free to contact us now!