Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture specifically can successfully treat infertility in women and in men, either by itself or in combination with ART (assisted reproductive technologies) such as IVF and IUI. There is a growing body of medical research that demonstrates the effectiveness of TCM for fertility. * If you are already pregnant please see this blog post about acupuncture and pregnancy.
The following conditions can be treated:
- Advanced maternal age
- Anovulation & ovulation disorders
- Elevated FSH
- Immunologic factors
- Hormonal imbalance
- Luteal phase defect
- Partial tubal obstruction
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Poor ovulatory cervical mucus
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Unexplained Infertility
- Uterine lining problems
- Low sperm count
- Sperm motility
- Abnormal sperm morphology
- Erectile dysfunction & libido
Day of Embryo Transfer
I offer pre/post embryo transfer treatments for patients of area fertility clinics (Fertility Solutions in Woburn and Fertility Centers of NE in Reading). I can be available 7 days a week if need be.
Increased uterine contractions at the time of embryo transfer have been associated with poor implantation outcome. A 2001 German study resulted in a greater pregnancy rate in patients who had a specific acupuncture treatment both immediately prior to and after embryo transfer. In this study, 42.5% of the acupuncture group experienced clinical pregnancy, whereas just 26.3% of the control group (those who did not receive acupuncture), had a positive outcome. The acupuncture treatments relax the uterus, stabilize the endocrine system and calm the mind/reduce stress. These combined efforts decrease the chance of uterine contractions and provide for implantation and pregnancy. (Fertility and Sterility, Vol.77, No. 4, April 2002)
You will have 2 treatments, one right before your transfer appointment and one shortly after the embryo transfer. While receiving your treatment, you will be lying down in a relaxed, comfortable treatment room. Most people find the acupuncture relaxing. The acupuncture treatment includes acupuncture points on your arms, legs and abdomen.
Acupuncture for Uterine Blood Flow Pre IVF Cycle
Good blood flow to the uterus ensures a healthy endometrium. The Pulsitility Index (PI), or uterine artery blood flow, is measured by a transvaginal Doppler ultrasound by your fertility specialist. A high PI number indicates diminished blood flow. Studies have suggested that the uterine receptivity is improved when the PI value is between 2.0 and 2.99 on the day of embryo transfer. Other studies have demonstrated that a high PI in the uterine arteries is associated with a decreased pregnancy rate following IVF and embryo transfer.
In a study conducted at the Fertility Centre Scandinavia in Gothenburg, Sweden, researchers sought to evaluate whether electro-acupuncture can reduce obstruction in the uterine arteries. In this study participants received electro-acupuncture eight times, twice a week for 4 weeks. The mean PI was significantly reduced to less than 2.6, both shortly after each of the eight electro-acupuncture treatments and 10-14 days after the completion of the series of treatments.
This study indicated that by utilizing this electro-acupuncture protocol, the chances of fertilization were enhanced. Electro-acupuncture can reduce a high PI, thereby increasing blood flow. The goal is to reproduce this study in the office for patients that it’s appropriate for. 8 treatments recommended over one month period.
Research on Fertility & TCM (These articles are provided to you as a reference and background information about fertility treatments. All articles are property of their respective authors and publishers.)
- Substitution of Acupuncture for HCG in Ovulation Induction – link to article.
- Role of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Female Infertility – link to article.
- Acupuncture Normalizes Dysfunction of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis – link to article.
- Acupuncture Treatment For Infertile Women Undergoing Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection – link to article.