What happens in a fertility acupuncture session?
In the first consultation, we will look at all body systems and take a full medical and gynaecological history. We will also discuss diet, lifestyle and stress levels and see where improvements can be made. A bespoke fertility plan will be devised together taking into account blood work and scans, male factor fertility and any Western diagnoses that have been made so far.
Tools such as charting basal body temperature (BBT) can be used to help identify the phase of the cycle that needs to be focussed on and will inform your treatment plan.
Treatment is tailored to the different stages of the menstrual cycle: after an initial set of weekly treatments, treatment will be targeted to particular times of the cycle – such as pre and post ovulation.
My post-graduate qualifications in fertility and ongoing research have given me a thorough understanding of western reproductive medicine and current IVF protocols. Alongside Chinese Medicine, this knowledge allows me to fully support clients in navigating through the process together.
Choosing to have acupuncture treatment can be an empowering process, allowing you have one hour in your week completely dedicated to your well-being.
Acupuncture to support IVF and other ARTs
IVF treatment can be a daunting, stressful and complex process. Acupuncture can help to support you physically and emotionally, whilst providing the space to have a highly personalised fertility treatment.
Acupuncture works to support you in a number of different ways during IVF. It can help to:
- Minimise the side effects of the drugs
- Regulate hormones and balance the immune system
- Increase the pelvic blood flow
- Improve endometrial quality, thickness and receptivity
- Promote and support pregnancy
- Calm the mind and reduces stress
Frequency of treatment
Treatment in the three months leading up to IVF is advised as this is the length of time it takes to make a significant difference to egg and sperm quality and allows me address any underlying imbalances and patterns. Treatment will be then tailored to each stage of the IVF cycle.
Typically this will be during the follicular stimulation phase, after egg collection to balance hormones, preparing for, and on the day of embryo transfer, and in the week before the pregnancy test.
Male fertility (Sperm parameters)
Sperm quality can have an impact on fertilisation rates and on factors such as the development of the fertilised egg, implantation and the development of the embryo. Emerging research shows that sperm quality may be a major contributor to recurrent miscarriage, and that DNA damage in sperm (often not included in conventional testing) can increase the risk of miscarriage.
For couples where infertility is unexplained or with recurrent miscarriage, ensuring that both partners receive treatment is recommended, so as to maximise both egg and sperm quality. A treatment plan will be formulated, taking into account your medical history and Western sperm analysis. We will also look at stress levels, nutritional and lifestyle choices, as these can influence sperm parameters. We may recommend a referral to a Chinese herbalist or to a conventional medical specialist such as a urologist or andrologist for further testing. It takes 100 days for new sperm to regenerate and a lot of positive change may be achieved during a three month period.