Acupuncture to prepare for frozen embryo transfer

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Many IVF clinics like to transfer embryos into a natural environment. Embryos that have been frozen and successfully thawed are transferred back into a uterus in its natural state at exactly the right time for implantation. Using electro-stimulation on acupuncture points on the abdomen in the months and weeks before the transfer, has been shown to improve the structure of the uterine lining, and significantly enhance the implantation and pregnancy rate.

Schedule; 1-2 treatments per week in the 2-3 cycles before frozen embryo transfer

Acupuncture before and during the medication phase of IVF

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This treatment schedule is based on protocols used in clinical trials which demonstrate increased blood supply to uterus and ovaries (reference) and a beneficial regulation of hormones which may be important to follicle development and implantation (reference). Recent analyses of the benefit of IVF patients receiving acupuncture have shown 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 (reference)
Schedule: 2 treatments per week for 4 weeks (optimal) plus treatment at time of embryo transfer.

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer (including frozen embryo transfer)

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These treatments are based on protocols used in clinical trials which showed that an increase in pregnancy rates in some groups of women (those for whom the expected pregnancy rate is 30% or less). (You can find the references for these trials here)
Schedule:    a – before or after transfer …… one treatment
                      b – before and after transfer …… two treatments 

Acupuncture at any phase of the IVF cycle

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Acupuncture can be used to manage any side effects you might experience and reduce anxiety. These treatment protocols are based on the clinical experience of many acupuncturists and their patients. Reduced fatigue, moodiness, abdomen swelling and discomfort and other side effects are reported by many women using acupuncture during their IVF cycle. In addition women report greater relaxation and control of anxiety (reference). The acupuncture treatment will be different for each patient and depends on your symptoms. These treatments can be combined with Schedule 2 above.
Schedule: 1-2 treatments per week as needed.

Acupuncture after egg collection

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IVF patients are recommended to have an acupuncture treatment the day or two after egg collection, to reduce any local tissue trauma or bleeding, and help prepare a calm environment for the arrival of an embryo. This treatment can be combined with Schedule 2 or 3 above.

Schedule: 1 treatment just after the procedure itself or within the following couple of days.