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Using Acupuncture During IVF or IUI

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2021

Many of my clients come to me because they are working with assisted reproductive endocrinologists and they have been told with studies and research time and time again that acupuncture can benefit them greatly.

Some of the benefits include: increased blood flow to the uterus, help reduce the cramps and pain, help calm the emotions you might be going through, assist in de stressing during hard periods of time.   

The treatment received during an artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination, or IVF can create a lot of stress on the body. These procedures are needed in order to conceive a child, but the actual instrumentation that is placed inside your body, the test, as well as the added medication, and added hormones make it very challenging for your body to reach a calm balanced state. These are some of the reasons I find acupuncture so effective during this time period. 

We can use acupuncture during all parts of your cycle, regardless of whether you have begun your treatment with IVF already or not.

You can come in and have an acupuncture session at any time.

Many clients come in because they may receive treatment with hormones and they have lots of side effects. Some of those include insomnia, hot flashes, irritability, constipation, anxiety, and big emotional shifts. These are all really uncomfortable symptoms, especially when you’re worried about trying to produce the right number of eggs or follicles, and also get a nice thick lining for implantation.

We work during all phases, meaning that you could come in and support your system no matter where you are in your IVF cycle. You don't have to wait until you have a new cycle to start acupuncture.

We can work with you right where you are and help you feel your best at every stage.

We can work with you to help regulate your cycles beforehand, improve your lining, boost your blood, as well as just make you more comfortable throughout it all. Which will help you become stronger and healthier.

Whether or not you want to come in just before or after your transfer date, or your IUI, we can work with you.

If you want to have regular visit and also have a treatment prior to, and after your implantation or insertion of the embryo, that's a great way to do it too.

Women often ask me if there is an appropriate time to start working with an acupuncturist and the answer is always!

Anytime is the right time.

You do not have to wait to come see an acupuncturist at the beginning or end of your cycle. It is beneficial no matter when you start. We will work to customize your treatment with acupuncture at any stage of your journey.

Some women want to work with an acupuncturist just during the transfer process. For example, pre and post transfer appointments and there is a lot of research to back up this type of treatment. Others may want to work with an acupuncturist through the whole process and get regular treatments because it’s cumulative effects. This is what I recommend, but if you are only able to do pre and post transfer acupuncture appointments, it is still quite beneficial.

Acupuncture before a transfer, specifically focuses to warm the uterus, reduce stress, and help with side effects of the hormones taken. We talk a lot about Chinese medicine warming the uterus and any of you who have been to see an acupuncturist, will tell you to put on socks that go above your ankles. This is because one of these strongest points for fertility is located on the inside of the ankle. So, invest in some super cozy socks and wear them when you are prepping for transfers and especially during the implantation window. A warm and toasty uterus will have more blood flow. This is important because not only are you going to be working on developing your endometrial lining leading up to transfer but also want to make sure that the blood supply will have a great amount of qi or energy to support implantation.

The acupuncture treatment after you have your transfer focuses on calming the uterus down. The treatment helps the spleen which helps hold all organs in place. This is an odd concept in the West. What I mean is - supporting and nourishing the organs so the embryo has the best chance of implanting. To keep not only your uterus happy (and warm) by supporting the blood flow to the new embryo and also keeping the embryo in place. This is especially recommended for those women who have had a history of miscarriage.

Acupuncture, along with eating warm cooked food, warm socks, and getting as much rest as possible during transfer time means you are doing everything possible for your baby.

I also tell my patients that if you come regularly and have acupuncture it really helps improve your quality of sleep, digestion, and help support you in the two-week waiting window.  

Once you become pregnant acupuncture is a great way to treat stress, anxiety and most symptoms of early pregnancy in the first trimester. Especially morning sickness, fatigue and digestive upset.

There is always a right time for acupuncture.

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