My partner and I are trying for a baby and considering IVF, can acupuncture help?
Yes, acupuncture is very effective in helping with this journey and some studies report that chances double when doing IVF and acupuncture together. To start with we focus on regulating your menstrual cycle and any other underlying health issues. The main objective here is that when you do fall pregnant, we want your body in optimum condition for a successful and healthy implantation.
One of the main concepts with acupuncture is that we look to harmonise the body, increase qi and blood production and create overall homeostasis. There have been several studies completed recently discussing how acupuncture can increase/improve hormone levels such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) along with increasing the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins in patients that suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) for example.
What is better acupuncture of Chinese herbal medicine?
I find them to be very complimentary of each other so most often we will use both modalities. Herbs are excellent at regulating your menstrual cycle while needles are fantastic at ensuring qi is flowing correctly in the body. Herbs are not only just for females, so we will also quite often dispense herbal formulas to males as well to ensure that their sperm is viable and healthy with good motility and ideally increase quality (sorry guys, you don’t get off that lightly). Needles are also just as effective for males, as sometimes sperm viability is the major factor – not the female’s side of things. More often than not when couples are trying to conceive, it can be a very stressful time so both herbs and needles are effective in calming down excess emotions.
How many treatments will we need?
This varies from patient to patient, and one has to take into account previous medical history. Regulating menstruation is essential, but considering the many contributing factors that can cause issues with fertility we at The Health Clinic will have an initial consultation and then work out a treatment plan. Another consideration is where you are on your journey. Some people may just be stating out, others will have been trying for some time, or some may have had several rounds of IVF.
Quite often in clinic we will do a pre/post treatments after the embryo transfer (if using IVF). The point here is to help relax the female and support the plantation process. Depending on the patient once there has been a transfer some females prefer to stop treatment and wait, others prefer to carry on with treatments. The decision is the patients but again this can be discussed in the initial stages or as we go along.
So to answer your question, yes acupuncture is very complimentary to (in)fertility and IVF and once you are pregnant there are some really lovely treatments we can offer to help with any pre or postpartum symptoms. I can appreciate that it can be a very stressful time in your life, but one thing I must say is that it’s very rewarding knowing that there are now The Health Clinic babies running around Ponsonby and Grey Lynn. One very rewarding aspect of the job.