The short answer is yes, acupuncture can increase IVF success rates! A new meta-analysis study published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics has revealed ground-breaking findings – acupuncture can significantly increase the success rates of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Researchers analysed data from 25 high-quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving 4,757 participants, making it one of the largest studies on acupuncture and IVF. It found that acupuncture can increase IVF live birth rates (LBR) by a remarkable 33.8%!
It is not surprising therefor that acupuncture is one of the most popular therapies used alongside IVF. It is estimated that around 1 in 4 couples choose acupuncture to help them when they’re trying to conceive. And whilst having needles put in you doesn’t sound relaxing, many people swear by the ongoing support, care, and treatment they get with their practitioner. Acupuncture for IVF is one of the most common reasons people come to see us in clinic. As practitioners we see first hand the many benefits people get from having acupuncture before IVF and during their treatment.
Does acupuncture really help with IVF?
Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to regulate hormones, improve blood flow to the uterus, and reduce the stress and anxiety associated with fertility struggles.
How many acupuncture sessions for IVF?
Every acupuncture session is tailored to the individual. So, the frequency of treatments depends on factors like your reproductive health, stress levels, and overall well-being. While some might opt for monthly sessions, most often it’s bi-weekly or even weekly. And if you’re undergoing IVF, we time the treatments along with the IVF process, including egg retrieval, transfer, and the Two Week Wait.
When should I start acupuncture for IVF?
We suggest starting three to six months before you plan to start trying to conceive. This gives us the right amount of time to make a positive impact. Eggs take about three months to mature and be ready for ovulation, and sperm need around 60 days to mature. So, consistent intervention during this period makes the biggest difference.
What should I expect during acupuncture for IVF?
In your first session with us, we’ll spend about an hour and a half discussing various aspects of your current health, lifestyle, and medical history. We want to know about your digestion, sleep, emotions, stress, work-life balance, exercise, menstrual cycle, underlying health issues, and more. This helps us create a personalized plan to address any potential concerns. Of course, there’s also the acupuncture itself, which usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. It’s a chance for you to relax, switch off and take some time for yourself.
How to find a good practitioner for Acupuncture for IVF?
It is crucial to collaborate with a practitioner possessing specialized training and experience in fertility acupuncture. Look for a professional who not only establishes a strong rapport with you but also comprehends the intricacies of both natural fertility support and assisted conception from both Western and Chinese medicine perspectives. Numerous specialized groups exist in this domain. My team and I have received training, or are currently undergoing training, with The Fertility Support Company, holding Advanced Level specialization. With this certification, you can rest assured of receiving top-notch care, backed by a minimum of five years of experience and one of the most rigorous and comprehensive training programs in the UK.