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. In addition to applying TCM principals and an individual approach we may use mild electro-stimulation on acupuncture points on the abdomen in the weeks before the transfer.
Many of our patients find that they benefit from having acupuncture before and during the medication phase of an IVF cycle. They feel better able to manage the stress and side effects that may be associated with IVF.
We often use mild electro-acupuncture at this time too particularly during the stimulation phase.
An Australian study found that a small “dose” of acupuncture (2-3 treatments) showed no effect on live birth rate in IVF patients, compared with sham acupuncture . Other researchers report different results with more frequent administration of acupuncture before and during the stimulation phase of the IVF cycle.
Women undergoing IVF often use acupuncture as an adjunctive support – some report greater relaxation and control of anxiety, and overall greater resilience. The acupuncture treatment will be different for each patient and depends on symptoms.
Many IVF patients find the “two week wait” the hardest part (even when its only 10 days!). Acupuncture may be a useful support during this time to keep the mind calm and reduce stress.