Q: “When you are working with fertility patients, what do you recommend in terms of acupuncture treatments going into an IVF Cycle?
A: Depending on our patients needs, budget and time we work with a few different options:
· The Stener-Victorin study showed an increase in IVF success with 8 treatments 2 times a week before an IVF transfer. · The Paulus study, also increased the success rates of IVF, with an acupuncture treatment before and after and on the same day as the IVF embryo transfer.
· There is also evidence that a post transfer implantation treatment increases success so we often do another acupuncture treatment 3 – 5 days post transfer.
Any combination of the above is beneficial. With an ideal treatment plan we do all three and then continue with weekly treatments for the first trimester. However, if this isn’t possible we modify the protocol to suit individual patient needs.
- 1 x weekly until implantation
- pre and post transfer day treatment
- 1 x per week for 1st trimester to help hold the pregnancy
When we work with patients who are doing natural cycles we normally see them 1 time a week for an initial 3 – 6 cycles (about 3 – 6 months). This time frame is important because of the maturation period of an egg is approximately 3 months. If it’s only possible to treat with acupuncture two times a month, we see them pre ovulation to help stimulate ovulation and then 5 – 8 days post ovulation to encourage implantation.
When we are working with male fertility patients we suggest weekly treatments for 3 to 6 months because the sperm maturation period is 72 – 90 days.
Kelsey Bru is a licensed acupuncturist and TCM Herbalist in the Comox Valley, British Columbia specializing in fertility and women's health. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to women’s health through her online articles and at her clinic, The Acupuncture Room, on Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay. Call for an appointment at 250-800-7738.