Supportive IVF treatment using acupuncture
Failed IVF is a frustrating experience for couples and their fertility doctors. One of our areas of expertise is IVF cases that are not responding or cases that have difficulty to continue the pregnancy.
2 main reasons for failed IVF-
Acupuncture can be done throughout the IVF process but in our opinion acupuncture for the ovarian stimulation phase and the embryo transfer phase is the most helpful. So, we developed an acupuncture protocol that is simple and effective to optimize the embryo quality and to stabilise the embryo transfer.
There are many factors that can contribute to an unsuccessful pregnancy, but it is our understanding that if the quality of the embryo and the lining of the uterus is healthy, there will be a greater chance of acceptance and continuation of the pregnancy process.
Recent studies of the benefit of acupuncture done during the IVF process show that patients who have treatment before and during the stimulation and implantation phases benefit more than those that have acupuncture only on the day of embryo transfer.
These studies indicate that acupuncture, especially around the time of the controlled ovarian stimulation, improves pregnancy success in women undergoing IVF.
Dr Sher, an internationally renowned expert in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology states-
‘If I were to single out the most common of all of the above factors, I would have no hesitation in saying that the first factor, i.e., embryo “incompetence” (chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo) tops the list of reasons for IVF failure. Embryo competence declines with advancing age. This is attributable to an inevitable age-related increase in egg aneuploidy (missing or extra chromosomes in the egg). But it is also true that the ovarian environment created in the process of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) can profoundly influence egg development and thus ultimately the likelihood of egg/embryo aneuploidy’.
Acupuncture treatment protocol-
The consultation Includes taking your medical history (IVF related) and explaining the treatment protocol.
The protocol involves 3 acupuncture treatments when you are going through the ovarian stimulation phase. This part of the protocol is to ensure stabilisation of the development of your eggs. Two additional acupuncture treatments are done after the embryo transfer. Usually we can start this treatment 3 to 4 days after the transfer. These treatments are to ensure acceptance within the uterus lining for the best chance of a successful pregnancy.