There are several good reasons why you should think about having acupuncture before and during your IVF cycle
……..or maybe why you shouldn’t !
Spoiler alert …..
If you are young, and healthy and doing IVF only because of male factor or blocked tubes, acupuncture might not benefit you as much as it could other IVF patients.
UNLESS you are feeling a bit stressed about the whole thing, then you should definitely consider it.
OR if you are planning a frozen embryo transfer, there is a lot you can do to prepare the uterine lining.
Here is all the latest information about Acupuncture and IVF Read More
This article is a response to recently published research (Journal of American Medical Association 2018) on outcomes for IVF patients having acupuncture.
One of our practitioners (Amy Forth) discusses this study by personnel working at Western Sydney University and various IVF clinics in Australia and New Zealand into the effectiveness of acupuncture in relation to IVF success.
The trial, which recruited 800 IVF patients in many different IVF clinics, created an international media response; most articles had titles like this one (from The Conversation). “Acupuncture during IVF doesn’t increase chances of having a baby” which is quite misleading.
We would like to point out that the results of this study do not reflect clinical results, and contradict some of the other IVF and acupuncture studies published in recent years.
What this recent study shows us is, importantly, that DOSE matters!
The implantation of an embryo in the uterus is a crucial early step in establishing a successful pregnancy.
Here we are talking about the first few steps of life ………
This is a hatching blastocyst, ready to find its implantation site and begin life in its new home for the next 9 months.
You can see how busy this little embryo has been just getting this far by clicking here!
Source: Golden Mirror Publishing, USA
The chapters in this manual describe the various Jade formulas (sold in the States). They include information that is most useful to TCM doctors, but may also be of interest to women and men who are interested in Chinese herbal medicine. Formulas for functional female infertility follow the menstrual cycle closely. This chapter describes in detail the herbs traditionally used in clinics in China. You can read more about the formulas and their ingredients here.
Source: Golden Mirror Publishing, USA
Gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian disease can impact fertility (and quality of life) significantly. Similarly fibroids and polyps may also impact fertility, or cause troublesome symptoms. And while dysmenorrhoea and premenstrual syndrome are not considered causes of infertility, they will always be addressed by the TCM doctor, since they indicate internal and hormonal imbalances. Chinese medicine has long used herbal medicines to treat these conditions. This chapter describes formulas that are used to treat these conditions, based on traditional and modern usage of Chinese herbs. You can read more about these formulas here.
Source: Golden Mirror Publishing, USA
Jane Lyttleton 2013
Male infertility, whether it be related to sperm count, motility or morphology has for many hundreds of years been treated with herbal medicine in China, such formulas being based on the constitution. You can find more information about these herbal formulas here.
> Click to download PDF
Well known Womens Health Mag is promoting acupuncture for women’s health including fertility.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a label being given to more and more young women. The specialists are not yet sure what the cause of this disorder is, but its increasing prevalence is making us wonder if its something we are doing in our modern lifestyles.
Part one of this article looks at all the things that contribute to or influence PCOS. Part Two (following) looks at all the treatment options including acupuncture.
Treatment for PCOS is limited but excitingly Chinese medicine is proving to offer good alternatives to pharmaceutical or surgical options. This is especially in the case of women who are not ovulating frequently or who are trying to conceive.
Source, Eastland Press (2019)
The second edition of a series of 3 texts by Will Maclean and Jane Lyttleton, are now all updated and in one cover. Some call this the Bible or the Merck Manual of internal Chinese medicine.
Source: PMPH. You Jiao Ling, Jane Lyttleton 2015
People’s Medical Publishing House is China’s preeminent publisher of texts in Science and Medicine. Recently they have released a series of texts for Chinese medicine students and doctors, written by top specialists in the field. This text is written by Dr You, a renowned gynaecologist, in collaboration with Jane Lyttleton.
When author James and his wife Christiane had difficulty conceiving they turned to Chinese medicine for help. Once they succeeded in becoming pregnant it was an impetus to develop their programme of Clean and Lean diet books to Pregnancy.
It includes a section called Infertility Explained by Jane Lyttleton Click to download PDF
A series of formulations (distributed in the States) based on classical Chinese herbal scripts for fertility and other gyneacological concerns, modified to incorporate modern research findings. Downloads of all the chapters of this book can be found here.
Or should IVF patients have acupuncture during the whole cycle? Its not for everyone
Electro-stimulation of certain acupuncture points can help your uterine lining to develop a three layer structure that is favourable to implantation.
Click here to find out more……
Watch the magic of time lapse photography tracking a newly fertilised egg as it becomes a Blastocyst and bursts out of its skin!
Channel Nine interviews Delia McCarthy, at the Maroubra Acupuncture IVF Support Clinic and Caroline Smith, Research consultant about the trial to be conducted, examining the effect of acupuncture on IVF outcomes.
To view this programme please see MSN archives.
One of the changes sweeping through our society this century is that women are having fewer children, later in life. That may explain why the use of IVF to assist pregnancy is growing by up to 15% a year in Australia. But experts say that science and technology has reached a plateau, and improvements in the success of these fertility treatments may only come from entirely different medical traditions – like acupuncture. Mark Horstman travels to Beijing and Adelaide to find out.
Kelly McGonigals TED talk on reframing stress: Is it time to change the way we think about stress? It certainly appears to be the case when mortality related to stress is examined. We would like to know if befriending rather than avoiding stress might be helpful for infertile couples. And in the meantime for those who cannot avoid stress, acupuncture has an excellent track record for helping to manage it, so that it doesnt affect sleep or well being.
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Source; msn news, 18th April 2017
Some overweight women and some women with PCOS have a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels, and this can make dieting and weight loss particularly difficult. Amazingly it appears that just one electroacupuncture treatment can reduce blood sugar, in much the same way that vigorous exercise does. Repeated electroacupuncture treatments also improve ovary function in PCOS patients.
Read more here
Source; SBS News, AAP. 18th July 2017
Our colleagues at Western Sydney Uni have released a paper proving something many of our patients already know, acupuncture helps period pain. And the effects last up to a year. When period pain improves, not only does quality of life look up, but we know from our TCM understanding that removing the stasis causing the pain, can also be seen as a marker of improved fertility.
See the full SBS news report here