Acupuncture often treats couples during preconception to optimize fertility. This strategy is especially beneficial for men who are increasing in age. Recent studies now prove that a man’s age does influence miscarriage and conception rates.
Infertility due to a male factor accounts for 40% of couples struggling to conceive. Sperm quality can be improved by integrating Acupuncture with healthy lifestyle changes.
Acupuncture is effective in improving motility and morphology. Sperm counts and motility can be improved with good nutrition, vitamin and antioxidant supplementation and the avoidance of toxic chemicals. Sperm is very sensitive to chemicals from the environment, medications and food.
As new sperm matures every 70-90 days, improving sperm quality can be achieved more readily. Weekly treatments for 3 months may be recommended. If you are young, Chinese herbs and Acupuncture for up to 12 months can often help even very compromised sperm.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we say the best way to achieve a healthy baby is to nourish the soil before you plant the seed.
Good health and balanced hormone levels are very important, as they positively influence the development and health of the potential egg and create favourable conditions of the uterine lining for implantation.
To optimize fertility and the health of your baby it is important to begin enhancing your fertility and wellbeing 3-4 months prior to conception. We now know through Western medicine this is when an egg is selected for ovulation.
Acupuncture treatments with Chinese herbs and diet therapy is recommended for 3-4 months prior to conception.
Fertility Acupuncture treatments focus on regulating the cycle. Good ovary function and balanced hormones is indicated by a regular cycle; 28 day (plus or minus a few days) cycle with regular mid-cycle ovulation and without pre-menstrual or menstrual symptoms.
By regulating your cycle, underlying factors that may be preventing you from conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy are treated.
Treatments also help to improve the health and vitality of the egg; increasing nutrition to the developing egg and boosting its capacity to make energy to make a viable embryo. This is particular important for women in their 30-40’s.
Typically Acupuncture treatments are scheduled 1-2 times per week for 3-6 cycles, then we reassess. It is important to treat during each phase of the cycle. On average it takes 3-6 months to see results given that it takes 3 months for a woman’s egg to mature.
Treatments will often incorporate Chinese herbs, diet therapy, lifestyle modifications and basal body temperature (BBT) charting.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Traditional Chinese Medicine, the oldest of all medical systems, can integrate effectively with cutting-edge modern medicine. An IVF Acupuncture treatment plan will focus on your particular diagnosis for infertility and take into account the effect medical interventions (drugs and surgical procedures) and often the associated emotional stress will have on the mind and body.
Most significantly, Acupuncture works with these medical interventions to enhance their results and alleviate their side-effects.
With the increase research in Acupuncture, more IVF clinics are incorporating Acupuncturists in their programs, applying research based and time tested Acupuncture. Acupuncture leading up to embryo transfer has shown to improve the uterine lining and increase implantation and pregnancy rates.
Ideally Acupuncture treatments should start at least 3 months before an IVF cycle, treating underlying conditions to achieve optimum ovary and uterine health. Treatments aim to enhance the vitality of the eggs, making them more responsive to stimulation by FSH.
During this time, we also reduce stress, improve sleep, lose weight (if weight is affecting ovarian function and egg quality), identify and avoid pollutants and incorporate a healthy diet and Chinese herbs (up to the drug phase of the IVF cycle).
Bow Valley Acupuncture will support you through your IVF journey and will accommodate your schedule around the days of egg collection and embryo transfer.