Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have long been used to help couples conceive naturally, but what many people don’t know is that it can also work in tandem with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Homerton University Hospital Study
A recent study from Homerton University Hospital in London, England found that women who receive regular acupuncture treatments while going through IVF, are twice as likely to get pregnant. The study looked at 160 women with half of them receiving IVF alone, and the other half IVF along with four acupuncture treatments. The pregnancy rate among the acupuncture group was more than double that of the group that received IVF alone (46.2% to 21.7% respectively). It goes without saying that this is a significant difference, especially when the financial and emotional costs for a round of IVF are very high.
Through many years of helping women through IVF, I have seen how beneficial acupuncture can be. Not only does acupuncture allow you time to address the specific fertility issues already being treated, but it also can help manage any side effects of the hormones given during IVF.
Stress and Fertility
Perhaps most importantly, and least talked about, is how acupuncture will help manage the stress of the fertility process. IVF (as well as IUI or trying to conceive naturally) can be a very stressful process. Often it can cause anxiety, obsessive thought patterns, internalized feelings of fault/failure, and even depression. Acupuncture, by giving the time to discuss these issues with a supportive practitioner, as well as through its calming effects, can make the experience more manageable and even enjoyable.
While stress does not prevent one from getting pregnant, cortisol (the stress hormone) can negatively impact conception. Cortisol can effect uterine lining thickness, hormone balance, implantation and more. Keeping stress in check, and positively addressing any imbalance is what makes acupuncture such a dynamic tool for people in fertility treatment!
A Widely Accepted Tool
Once considered foreign and misunderstood by western practitioners, acupuncture is now widely accepted and encouraged by fertility specialists. The Homerton University study, along with many others, have shown its effectiveness in assisting women conceive through IVF. In my practice I have seen countless woman turn the stressful IVF process into a humanizing, enjoyable and, most importantly, successful experience.
If you are going through fertility treatments and are looking to use acupuncture to help you conceive, click the book appointment button below.
Jonathan is an acupuncturist and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. He values a holistic approach, and seeks to treat the root causes of illness and provide symptomatic relief for people seeking to better their health and quality of life. As a practitioner, Jonathan seeks to create a positive healing environment, where patients can step away from their daily stresses. Through creating a safe and comfortable space, patients can look forward to coming in for treatment as an opportunity to seek relief and get the support they need.