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FERTILITY AND IVF

Louise has a special interest in treating fertility and pregnancy issues with acupuncture, and has helped many couples realise their dream of conceiving and giving birth to a child.

Research has shown that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is successful in the treatment of infertility and recurrent miscarriage. TCM and Acupuncture have been shown to improve the success rate of pregnancy in infertile and sub-fertile couples by offering improvements in ovarian function, an increase in the number of eggs, and by increasing the thickness of the uterine wall. Acupuncture is used alone as a fertility treatment or as an adjunct to IVF or other forms of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

Natural (Non-assisted) cycles

Female infertility: the aim will be to regulate the menstrual cycle, balance hormone levels, regulate ovulation and support natural implantation. With unexplained infertility, up to three months’ treatment may be required. Longer may be needed if there is a history of underlying problems such as Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovaries. However, some improvement in the reduction or disappearance of pain and the length and quantity of flow should occur in a short space of time (1-2 cycles).

For male infertility, acupuncture is effective for treating low sperm count or motility, which accounts for 40% of infertility cases in presenting couples in the West. In a research paper published in PubMed in 2002, Acupuncture was found to improve sperm quality and fertilisation rates in assisted reproductive technology.

IVF and ART cycles

IVF can be a challenging and stressful time, both emotionally and physically. Acupuncture can help improve the likelihood of a positive outcome by reducing stress, and balancing the body’s energy on a deep level. Recent research has shown that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves the rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing IVF. Acupuncture is now commonly used to improve the chances of a positive outcome for IVF treatment.

How often is treatment needed?

Ideally, treatment should be started 3 months before implantation in preparation for IVF, in order to increase thickness and nourishment to the lining of the womb. However, treatments only a couple of weeks in advance will also help. Acupuncture is required weekly prior to egg collection, and then before and after embryo transfer. After a positive pregnancy test, if there is a history of miscarriage, treatment should continue up to week 12.

How does Acupuncture help?

1. Treatment before egg extraction is focused on maximising endometrial thickness, follicle growth and egg quality.

2. Following egg extraction, treatment is focused on healing the body after surgery, offering it more energy for implantation.

3. Pre and post embryo transfer treatment, carried out on the day of embryo transfer, is focused on reducing stress by calming the mind and circulating the qi around the uterus and fallopian tubes, so as to create the optimum environment for implantation.

4. Some opt for a further treatment 5 days after embryo transfer to assist the embryo in affixing to the uterine wall.

To make an appointment, please call North Sydney Fertility Acupuncture on (02) 8904 0202