IVF/IUI Optimization

Scientific research reveals that acupuncture can improve the success rate of IVF and IUI cycles by 60-70%.  As a result, we have seen an increasing number of reproductive doctors suggesting their patients combine acupuncture to support their IVF/IUI treatment. 

Recent clinical studies show acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy can optimize IVF cycles by

  • increasing patient’s response to hormone stimulation
  • improving blood flow to ovaries and uterus
  • increasing implantation rate during IVF embryo transfer
  • thickening uterine lining 
  • increasing pregnancy rate
  • preventing miscarriage
  • improving sperm count, morphology, & motility

    In addition, acupuncture provides deep relaxation and helps women to ease the physical, mental, and emotional stress when undergoing the IVF process. 

    Hullender Rubin Lee, et al. (2015) Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in vitro fertilization outcomes. Reproductive Biomedicine Online ;pii:S1 472-6483(15)00092.

    Sela K. et al. (2011) Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Treatment for Women Undergoing Intrauterine Insemination, European Journal of Integrative Medicine 3(2) pages e77-e81

    At Longevity Acupuncture, we work closely with your IVF/ IUI doctors, and support your IVF/ IUI procedures step by step along the way.

    First, we help you get ready for the Egg Retrieval.

    Acupuncture Prior To an IVF/IUI Cycle

    Ideally acupuncture treatment should start three months prior to the beginning of the IVF/IUI cycle.  This allows adequate time to improve the quality of the couple’s gametes (eggs and sperms), which is essential for successful pregnancy and decreases the risk for early miscarriage.   Any pre-existing conditions, such as menstrual irregularities, endometriosis, PCOS, and fibroids can be treated during this time.  After your initial consultation, our fertility acupuncturist will formulate a customized treatment plan for you, detailing treatment frequency, dietary and lifestyle, and herbs and supplements recommendations.

    However, if you are already close to, or have started the cycle, you can still benefit and see better results by increasing the frequency of acupuncture visits leading up to your procedure.

    Acupuncture During an IVF/IUI Cycle

    Acupuncture can support and complement IVF cycle at different phases – cycle down-regulating, ovarian stimulation, ovulation, egg retrieval and embryo transfer, while minimizing the side-effects from the medications, such as weight gain, bloating, fatigue, headache, mood swings.

    We recommend 2 times a week visits throughout an IVF cycle. Herbs are generally not prescribed during this time.  We also recommend regular acupuncture for the male partner during this time to improve sperm count, motility and morphology.

    Acupuncture Prior To Egg Retrieval

    We recommend acupuncture 1-2 days prior to egg retrieval, to help relax the cervix and increase blood flow to the uterus.

    Acupuncture After Egg Retrieval

    We recommend acupuncture to help alleviate bloating, distention, and cramps, some common symptoms experienced post procedure.  Acupuncture can help the uterine tissues heal from micro trauma after the egg retrieval and prepare the uterus for implantation.

    Next, we help you to prepare for a successful embryo transfer.

    Acupuncture Prior to FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

    We recommend acupuncture to help alleviate bloating, distention, and cramps, some common symptoms experienced post procedure.  Acupuncture can help the uterine tissues heal from micro trauma after the egg retrieval and prepare the uterus for implantation.

    Acupuncture On The Day of Embryo Transfer

    Embryo transfer day acupuncture protocol consists of two sessions, pre-transfer session and post-transfer session, each 25 minutes. It is based on the results of a study showing an increased pregnancy rate of 16% in the acupuncture group (42.5%), in comparison to the control group (26.3%) on the day of embryo transfer.
    Embryo transfer day acupuncture can help promote uterine blood flow, prevent uterine contractions, promote relaxation and increase pregnancy success rate.

    Paulus W et al, (2002). Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy, Fertil Steril Vol 77 721-724

    Acupuncture After Embryo Transfer

    We recommend 2-3 acupuncture treatments 48 hours after embryo transfer, up to the day of pregnancy test.  This is to further promote relaxation, calm the uterus and support a warm and friendly environment for the embryo implantation and development. 

    The IVF process often feels overwhelming and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be like that.  With the support of our expertise in fertility acupuncture, you will experience more ease and peace during this process, and find a much better outcome in the end.  

    Featured Patient Reviews

    Adriana L. ( 43 years old)

    Dr.Vivian is without a doubt an exceptional healer. She has the vision, the strength and the delicacy to take you to the right path in the quest for balance and health. I was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), and thanks to Dr. Vivian, we managed to improve my egg quality: of two retrieved eggs two were fertilized. That’s 100% success! I recommend her support to anyone who’s looking to increase their fertility and achieve physical, mental and spiritual health.

    Carolina O. (30 years old)

    Dr. Vivian was first recommended to me by my fertility doctor to help through the IVF process and ease my anxiety.  In your first session, she really takes the time to understand your health concerns and get to know you.  From there, she tailors your treatment to your needs.  I have been seeing her for nearly a year now and couldn’t be more grateful to know her.  To start, Dr. Vivian helped me get through the very uncomfortable IVF egg retrieval process.  Not only did her treatments help relax my body, but it also eased a lot of pain and swelling I experienced all over my body.  Thanks to her work, I am fortunate to say that the IVF transfer was successful and I am now expecting my first child! 

    In addition to making my IVF and pregnancy a lot more comfortable, acupuncture has truly helped me through my anxiety.  Prior to working with Dr. Vivian, I was experiencing severe anxiety and regular panic attacks.  I had tried working with a psychiatrist but had a very bad reaction to medication and was referred to see a therapist instead. Though therapy is a great tool, my anxiety stems from a hormonal imbalance. This is where Dr. Vivian came to the rescue!  After beginning my acupuncture treatment, I have had very minimal anxiety and have not had a single panic attack.  It has been an amazing feeling taking my life back and not always being scared of when anxiety will get the better of me.  

    In summary, Dr. Vivian has been incredible in helping me through IVF, pregnancy, and overcome severe anxiety! I couldn’t recommend her more highly to you!

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