Acupuncture and moxibustion (herbal heat treatment) have been used for thousands of years in Asia to boost fertility and address the kinds of medical problems that prevent a woman/couple from conceiving. Recently this has become a popular adjunctive treatment to IVF treatments after studies have shown that it can increase the efficacy of IVF significantly (1).
At Ondol Clinic, we use acupuncture and herbal medicine, as well as supplements to support couples for fertility-related problems. We also look at lifestyle choices and stress management to assist people through these challenging times.
How does acupuncture work?
In preparation for an IVF-cycle, acupuncture may assist in regulating hormones and improving uterine blood flow, while relieving stress by working on the central nervous system. In a randomised control study on IVF patients undergoing acupuncture and moxibustion, researchers found that acupuncture and moxibustion improved high-quality embryo rate, uterine (endometrial) blood flow (2) and lining and therefore endometrial responsiveness.
Improved endometrial responsiveness might also explain why these modalities can lead to increased pregnancy rates when embryo implantation has failed beforehand (3).
An IVF-cycle can undoubtedly be a very stressful and emotional time. Patients talk about the pressure of constant monitoring, taking stimulating drugs, feeling tired and anxious. At the same time, there are the ongoing demands from the outside world, with work and societal expectations; not to mention significant financial burdens with medical procedures.
Studies point out the detrimental effects stress can have on the reproductive system (4). The more stressed a person becomes, the weaker the outcome due to the impact stress has on our reproductive hormones.
Acupuncture is an excellent tool to assist in alleviating stress. Regular treatments allow the body to calm the fight and flight system and help it to function at its optimal level of health.
How many treatments are applied during IVF?
Ideally, we suggest some preparation time for a couple of months before commencing the IVF procedure.
When undertaking acupuncture treatments during IVF, our practitioners at Ondol clinic suggest a minimum of five sessions: one before egg pick up, one before and one immediately after an embryo transfer to help to increase the chances of implantation. Two additional treatments follow within a week to further support the implantation process.
We have helped hundreds of women over the years as they go through IVF and other assisted reproductive procedures.
Acupuncture IVF Support Brisbane
If you have further questions, or would like to book an appointment, please call us on 3371 0100 to speak to one of our helpful practitioners.
1. Ying-Er, G, et. al 2019. Journal of Gynaecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction 48(8):677-684 <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468784719301497>
2. Jui, Z 2015 Apr;35(4):313-7. <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26054135/>
3. Acupunct Med 2013 Jun;31(2):157-61 doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010269. Epub 2013 Mar 19.
4. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2224; <https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102224>