Laser Acupuncture for Fertility and IVF Questions and Answers

lorne's picture

 

I had the opportunity to chat with over 40 women during the past week about the Acubalance Laser Baby Program and in general how Acubalance is using low level laser therapy (LLLT/Laser acupuncture) with fertility patients.

I have updated the Laser Baby Program page and it includes the FAQ at the bottom of the page. You can follow link or read the FAQ.

 

I was introduced to laser acupuncture in 2008 when I first learned about it from a study using laser acupuncture instead of acupuncture needles on transfer day for IVF transfers. The abstract demonstrated that the laser acupuncture group had a 15% increase in implantation over the sham laser group and the control group. We have been offering laser acupuncture since 2009 and we offer it onsite at the Vancouver Olive Fertility Centre on your IVF embryo transfer day. Contact Acubalance at 604-678-8600 or clinic@acubalance.ca for details and to book your IVF laser acupuncture session for onsite at Olive.

IVF Laser Acupuncture Treatment

The IVF laser acupuncture treatment is can support uterine receptivity to increase implantation. This makes sense since the egg and sperm quality are already established since they are now an embryo in the IVF lab. But what I am most excited about is using laser acupuncture during the pre-conception period, the month and weeks before ovulation or IVF retrieval and transfer. During this preconception period, we have an opportunity to positively impact the egg quality as well as uterine receptivity.

 

I see the low-level laser therapy (LLLT) as an amazing adjunctive therapy to IVF. IVF with PGS/CCS (Comprehensive chromosomal Screening / Pre-Genetic Screening) is a strong tool to select normal chromosomally wise embryos, but chromosomally normal embryos achieve 60-70% pregnancy rates, not 100%. So 30-40% of normal embryos still do not implant. The status of the nucleus and cytoplasm is critical for implantation. The condition of the cytoplasm largely relies on the mitochondria activity. And it has been well documented that low-level laser therapy (LLLT/cold laser) activates mitochondrial function and ATP production. Hence laser acupuncture has the potential to help women reach their peak fertility potential when trying to conceive naturally or with ART like IUI and IVF.

 

Cold laser (LLLT) helps optimize fertility by:

  1. Activating mitochondria function and stimulating ATP (energy) production in the cells.
  2. Promoting Blood circulation 
  3. Regulating inflammation (Inflammaging – biological aging) 
  4. Soften scar tissue (endometriosis and scarring)

 

We have received lots of interest about our Laser Baby Program with those with challenging reproductive histories; over 40, high FSH, low AMH and repeated IVF cycles with no success. Your Acubalance team continues to work hard to help you optimize your fertility and increase your chances of conceiving naturally or with your next IUI/IVF cycle. Now that we have a good size group of 'challenging cases' entered into our program we have opened up the laser baby program to anyone wanting to optimize their egg quality and peak fertility potential.

 

I would like to provide some hope and inspiration to my readers. Here is some anecdotal cases from an IVF centre in Japan using low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for those with low or undetectable AMH. You will see below that out of the 188 patients (all using their own eggs) there was a 56% pregnancy rate and 38% live birth rate. Considering the demographics, adding low level laser therapy to the Acubalance approach provides me with hope and optimism that we can help those with similar histories.

 

The treatments were performed in patients who wanted to take it, as a result, they were generally older, with low anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) levels, and had repeated cycles.

Between April 2010 to November 2015, 188 patients received LLLT. The average patient age was 38.6 ± 4.1 years old and were treated using LLLT for the neck and the abdominal-lumber area. And at least 30 patients had low or undetectable AMH levels.

 

Of the 188 patients, 106 patients (56.4 %) achieved a clinical pregnancy and 73 patients (38.8 %) gave birth.

 

  • In 17 patients, an undetectable AMH level, 7 patients achieved a clinical pregnancy and gave birth.
  • In 13 patients with 0.1 AMH level, 5 patients achieved a clinical pregnancy and 6 patients gave birth.
  • Patients noticed improvements in cold-sensitive constitution especially for the foot, and stiff shoulders. A patient said she felt she did everything that she could.

Integrative Health Combined With IVF

An integrative approach can increase your chances of conceiving and having a baby. IVF is a strong tool and when combined with natural approaches it provides you with a holistic approach to help you reach your peak fertility as well as setting the health blue print of your future child.

 

In summary, the Acubalance in Vancouver BC approach to influence the follicular micro-environment and rejuvenate eggs with our Fertility program which includes the Laser acupuncture treatments:

  • Increase blood supply (oxygen and nutrients) to the follicles with electro acupuncture and low level laser light (LLLT)
  • Increase mitochondrial ATP output with Chinese herbs and low level laser light (LLLT)
  • Enhance antioxidant defences with certain Chinese herbs, antioxidants and low level laser light (LLLT)
  • Reduce ‘Inflammaging’ (accelerated aging caused by low grade systemic inflammation) through diet, stress reduction, supplements, acupuncture and laser (LLLT)

More info on:

Wishing you the best of luck on your path to pregnancy.

 

Lorne Brown B.Sc., CPA, DR.TCM, FABORM, CHt
Acubalance clinical director and founder
Chair of the Integrative Fertility Symposium

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

1.) Am I eligible if I cannot do the 3 months or the intensity of 3/week?

You can receive laser acupuncture regardless if you are in the Program at Acubalance. There are two differences from the Laser Baby Program and booking a la carte.

Firstly, only the Laser Baby Program has the discount. Both ways you pay $130 as you go. The difference is that if you are in the Laser Baby Program the last 6 visits (in the third month) are free. That is a savings of 6 X $130 = $780 

No one is doing this for the discount. They want a healthy baby. So if you cannot come for 3 months or at the frequency of the Laser Baby Program we recommend you book in and pay as you go.

And secondly, the Laser Baby Program entitles you to one visit a week with your Acubalance practitioner case manager and the remainder treatments are in the Acubalance Studio where we treat community style. 1-3 women at a time. If you prefer more than once a week with your acubalance case manager in the main clinic then we can accommodate you but you would not be eligible for the discount. Discount is only available to those who receive once a week sessions in the main clinic and the remainder during the week in the Acubalance studio.

 

2.) What if I am doing an IVF cycle?

If you are doing an IVF cycle then we suggest laser 3/week during your stim phase leading up to your retrieval... And then laser acupuncture immediately before and after your embryo transfer to support uterine receptivity and implantation.

 

3.) What do you recommend after the 3 month program is completed?

Continue to follow our approach for improving egg quality which includes the fertility diet, lifestyle, stress reduction, acupuncture, herbs, supplements and cold laser (LLLT) treatments. This is still the  pre-conception period but it is more maintenance and not as intense as the Laser program. Instead of 3 times a week we recommend once a week if you are under 39 and continue twice a week if 39 or older ot have been diagnosed with poor egg/embryo quality and low ovarian reserve.

If you do an IVF or medicated cycle after the Laser Baby Program then receive combined laser and acupuncture 3 times a week during the stimulation phase (from your bleed to IUI or egg retrieval.  If you are doing a FET then 2/ week until transfer. 

If you are TTC naturally then 2/week in follicular and 1/week in luteal would be good maintenance. Based on your age and reproductive history (and diagnosis) we may recommend less or more.

4.) Are you still accepting women into your Laser Baby Program?

Yes, every month we can accept up to 15 new women into the program. We are limited by laser systems and docs availability. So please contact us (e: clinic@acubalance.ca or p: 604-678-8600) if you want to join in for our next group 3 month Laser Baby Program.

If you cannot commit to 3 months or the frequency of the Laser Baby Program you can still book at laser for fertility treatments at Acubalance. You are just not eligible for the program discount.

 

5) What if I am needle phobic?

If you are needle phobic then you receive just laser acupuncture and no needles. The fee is $100 per session and the discount at the end of the 3 months would be $600 (6X$100) instead of $780 (6X$130)

 

6.) The program requires 6 sessions during the first half of my cycle. Three each week for the first two weeks? Can I come consecutive days or do I need to have day breaks between laser acupuncture sessions? Can I come 5 in one week and once the following week to have my total of 6 sessions during the first half of my cycle?

Yes. Consecutive days in a row are actually encouraged. The key is 6 sessions in the first half of your cycle. You can choose any combination over the two weeks to reach 6 sessions.

Acubalance Wellness Centre - Offering Integrative Health in Vancouver, BC

Book an appointment.

Read about our Care Team.

Read more Success Stories.

Read more about our Treatments.

 

Sources:

http://www.acubalance.ca/laser/acubalance-laser-baby-program

http://www.acubalance.ca/ivf-acupuncture-for-embryo-transfer

http://www.acubalance.ca/laser/laser-lllt-for-fertility

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/islsm/25/3/25_16-AB-01/_pdf