Acupuncture and IVF - When and How Often Should You Be Getting Treatments
There’s never a right or wrong time to get Acupuncture leading up to an Assisted Reproductive Technology procedure such as an IUI or IVF. However there is an optimal time to start. Ideally we’d like to start about 3 months before a retrieval or insemination because although the eggs you will be ovulating your current cycle have been developing for the past year, the last 3 months of development are the most crucial.
Check out this meta-analysis that shows that regular treatment delivered before the time of embryo transfers shows significant benefit, especially in those who normally respond poorly to IVF. Acupuncture was shown to increase pregnancy rates, reduce the risk of miscarriage, and improve live birth rates. A recent retrospective study (2016-2018) completed by Olive Fertility Centre confirmed these findings, that Acubalance’s on site embryo transfer acupuncture protocol was improving pregnancy rates, live birth rates, and reducing the risk of miscarriage. Further investigation revealed that women who received 7 or more acupuncture treatments before transfer day plus transfer day acupuncture had the highest pregnancy rate.
Your type of treatment and treatment frequency will be determined during your initial consultation, when all considering factors such as symptoms, health conditions, previous ART procedures, time allotted, lifestyle, etc. will be taken into account and a personalized treatment plan will be created. We typically recommend 1-3 treatments per week for at least 4-6 weeks before a procedure (IUI, IVF, FET). If you are having a fresh embryo transfer, we then support with weekly acupuncture after the transfer and into the first trimester. For a frozen embryo transfer, we may do 1-3 treatments per week leading up to the FET and then support weekly from thereon out.
Is your egg retrieval or IUI next week or even tomorrow? No problem, I’d still recommend coming in for a treatment because any treatment is better than no treatment at all. Is your embryo transfer soon? Don’t forget to contact us to book in your on site acupuncture for transfer day at Olive Fertility. If you’re not at Olive Fertility Centre we recommend treatments leading up to the embryo transfer, and a certain implantation protocol done at our clinic within 48 hours of your transfer.
Interested in reading more about how to reach your peak fertility potential in 100 days? Take a look at this blog post written by clinical director Dr. Lorne Brown.