When to use Acupuncture and /or Chinese medicine with IVF
- Preparation for first IVF cycle with patients with underlying issues
- Repeated embryo implantation failure
- Maternal age greater than 35 years old
- Poor responders to FSH stimulation resulting in low number of follicles
- Poor quality follicles that do not fertilise
- Male factor infertility
Preparation for IVF cycle
For a client who will be starting her IVF stimulation we suggest a 3 month preparation for the body. In this time we can try to address any conditions that could affect the IVF being successful. During the three months preparation treatments practitioners can use a combination of Acupuncture, cupping, massage therapy, moxibusion, dietary therapy, vitamins and Chinese herbal medicine.
Once the client begins her drug stimulation all Chinese herbs are stopped to ensure that drug herb interactions do not occur. However Acupuncture is continued twice weekly until transfer. On the day of the transfer we suggest Acupuncture before and after. After the transfer the client will continue twice weekly acupuncture.
Some examples of conditions that this treatment may be useful in;
- Excess weight
- Age related infertility
- Luteal phase defect
- No ovulation or no regular ovulation
Repeated embryo implantation failure
A client who has repeated implantation failure may choose to see us for a 3 month preparation as above or see us during a natural cycle FET (frozen embryo transfer). In the later we suggest Acupuncture twice weekly before transfer and pre/post Acupuncture on the day of the transfer.
Some examples of conditions this treatment may be useful in;
- Repeated IVF transfers will no success
- Repeated miscarriages with no known reason
- Advanced age women at risk of miscarriage
From a Chinese medicine prospective a woman, who has responded well to the ovary stimulation and retrieved a good number of quality follicles, however has had several transfers with no success suggests that her endometrial lining is thin or poor quality.
Poor responders to FSH stimulation
This treatment is aimed at clients who have had 1 or more IVF stimulations with poor response and little to no follicles collected. We highly recommend that this client have 3 months preparation before the next cycle treatment includes regular Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, vitamins and dietary changes. Most of these clients are at low risk of hyper-stimulation so we sometimes continue Chinese herbal medicine right through the stimulation.
Some examples of conditions where this treatment can be useful in;
- Multiple IVF stimulations with very small amounts or no follicles collected
- Multiple IVF stimulations with decreasing amounts of follicles collected
- Age related infertility
From a Chinese medicine prospective a woman with few follicles collected suggests that her fertility energy called ‘Jing’ has been depleted.
This treatment is aimed at women who have a large amount of follicles collected however few of the follicles are of maturity, poor quality and or do not survive. Again in we recommend 3 months preparation before the next IVF stimulation cycles begins.
Treatment includes; regular Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, vitamins and dietary changes.
From a Chinese medicine prospective a woman who has many follicles collected however none to transfer suggests that her ovaries lack the ‘Qi’ and blood circulation to nourish and develop the follicles.
Male factor infertility
The quality and quantity of sperm can be an issue even when ICSI is being used. We suggest a combined Acupuncture, vitamins and Chinese herbal treatment for a minimum of 3 months prior to IVF. Acupuncture session weekly.
IVF acupuncture protocol guidelines
As a clinic we strive to offer our client the best support through IVF. We adhere to the following guidelines;
- All our Acupuncturists are accredited with Australian Chinese Medicine Registration Board and have further training in gynaecology, fertility and IVF support
- Use of clinically trialled Acupuncture protocols
- Never use Chinese herbs during first IVF stimulation. Stop all herbs once IVF drug regimens begin
- For a poor responder who has had multiple IVF stimulation prior can use Chinese herbs in preparation and during stimulation.
- Strong emphasis on Acupuncture support prior to IVF. We suggest 3 months of continuous acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine
- Ongoing support through pregnancy and beyond
Should you have any queries or want to make an appointment to see our acupuncture team for your fertility or IVF support, please feel free to contact us or call:
Coburg clinic: 03 9378 9479
Ringwood clinic: 03 8802 1519