Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine that has long been used to promote fertility and support reproductive health. Many women have found that incorporating acupuncture into their IVF treatment may help to increase the chances of success for this medical procedure.
Some experts believe acupuncture may help regulate hormones, reduce stress, and improve blood flow, providing a better environment for egg development and implantation. This can also be very beneficial for IVF treatment. So, what should you know about acupuncture and IVF? Does acupuncture help with IVF?
How Does Acupuncture Help with IVF?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that has long been used to treat various conditions and ailments. More recently, it has also become an essential part of IVF treatments.
Acupuncture is thought to help increase pregnancy rates by reducing stress and anxiety, increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, and influencing hormonal regulation. Through these mechanisms, acupuncture helps to improve reproductive health and sets the stage for successful embryo implantation. However, insufficient research supports acupuncture’s role in IVF success rates, indicating that more is needed.
Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility
Acupuncture can assist in regulating the menstrual cycle, which is helpful for women struggling with irregular periods or underlying conditions, like PCOS, reduce stress, and increase blood flow to the uterus. Below, we further explore the many ways that acupuncture may benefit fertility outcomes.
Acupuncture for Stress Relief
The ancient Chinese practice revolves around the idea of “qi,” or life force, which is believed to flow throughout the body along channels called meridians. By placing thin needles at specific points on the meridians, acupuncture practitioners can increase the flow of qi and promote overall health and well-being.
Some studies have even found that acupuncture can help reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress and anxiety, and inhibit the activity of certain overactive neurotransmitters in times of stress.
Acupuncture Increases Blood Flow to the Uterus
Studies have shown that acupuncture may significantly increase blood flow to the uterus, helping to improve the chances of fertility. This ensures all of the reproductive organs have adequate nutrients and oxygen, setting up the ideal environment for pregnancy.
Acupuncture for Regulating the Menstrual Cycle
By increasing blood flow to the pelvic area and reducing stress, studies have shown that acupuncture may help to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle, which is a crucial part of infertility.
When is the Best Time to Start Acupuncture for IVF?
When it comes to the best time to start acupuncture during IVF, the timing of treatment will depend on a variety of factors, including your unique physiology and the type of fertility issues you are experiencing. However, some general guidelines can be provided that may help you decide when to begin acupuncture treatment.
It is recommended that women begin acupuncture in the lead-up to their menstrual cycle and in preparation for their first follicle scan. This will allow enough time for the acupuncture treatments to take effect before the embryo transfer procedure occurs.
Starting at this early point in the process can help reduce any anxiety and stress associated with IVF treatment. It’s also recommended that acupuncture is done before and after the embryo transfer and during the two-week wait.
How Does Acupuncture Help During the Different Stages of IVF
Acupuncture may help with different things throughout the various stages of IVF. The following sections explore the effects of acupuncture at each stage, including when to start acupuncture for IVF, acupuncture before IVF, acupuncture before the egg retrieval, and acupuncture pre and post-embryo transfer. Yet, how often you undergo acupuncture for fertility may depend on your specific situation and other factors.
Acupuncture Before IVF
Before you begin your IVF journey, acupuncture may help with a number of fertility issues. The benefits of acupuncture for fertility include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Increase sperm count and motility
- Increase blood flow to the pelvic area
- Decreased chance of miscarriage
- Reducing inflammation
- Regulation of the menstrual cycle
- Increased chance of pregnancy
Thus, if you’re wondering when to start acupuncture for IVF, you can begin your treatment before you start your IVF cycles, as there are many other health benefits associated with acupuncture. In particular, acupuncture may help lower physical pain, as well as promote relaxation, which can help lower stress and inflammation throughout the body. This not only improves your health and wellness but also your chances of getting pregnant.
Acupuncture Before Egg Retrieval
Speaking with your doctor about how many acupuncture treatments you should have before egg retrieval is vital. Acupuncture may help improve the quality of the sperm and embryo, resulting in better chances of a successful pregnancy.
Acupuncture Pre-Embryo Transfer
Acupuncture can help balance hormones by reducing stress and cortisol in the body, which is ideal when taking fertility medication before the embryo transfer.
Acupuncture for Implantation
The increased blood flow to the pelvic area may also help to increase implantation success. Again, since acupuncture may help lower stress, this may be beneficial for getting pregnant.
At the end of the day, using acupuncture for stress relief is associated with various fertility benefits. If you’re looking for a trusted fertility team to help guide you toward making your baby dreams come true, contact ELITE IVF today. Our caring and compassionate team is ready to help.