Complement IVF Procedure With Natural Booster
The Canadian Assisted Reproduction Technologies Register showed a steady increase in the use of assisted reproductive techniques for the past 15 years. On average, 15 per cent of couples aged 18 to 44 sought medical help for conception every year. In-Vitro fertilization (commonly known as IVF) and intrauterine insemination (commonly known as IUI) are two most popular procedures for Canadian couples seeking fertility helps.
Many couples undergoing IVF treatments experience enormous level of stress and frustration. These surgical based procedures are time consuming, physically demanding, financially costly and emotionally taxing. And yet, the outcome of infertility treatment is unpredictable. Therefore, it is important to explore natural therapies that can help you prepare for your IVF fertility journey.
When it comes to getting pregnant, ancient world techniques may be just what today's high-tech reproductive specialists will order. Think of this time as "preparing of the soil before the seeds are planted". Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are effective natural remedies that bring multiple benefits. They are supported by numerous research studies. Some of the fertility acupuncture benefits are:
- Strengthen ovarian function to yield higher quality of eggs
- Regulate hormones for increased production of follicles
- Increase blood supply to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
- Prevent uterine contraction post IVF embryo transfer for better implantation
- Reduce the side effects of IVF medication
- Improve sperm count, motility, morphology and reduce sperm DNA fragmentation
- Prevent recurring miscarriages
- Reduce anxiety and stress that degrade reproductive functions
Acupuncture and TCM treatments are best to start well ahead of the IVF cycle. These holistic treatments can be planned 3 months before the start of your IVF medication to give enough time for your body to make positive changes. TCM treatments commonly combine the use of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and complemented with special pre-embryo transfer and post-embryo transfer acupuncture sessions. We operate independently with no affiliation with any fertility clinic; however, we are here to work with the patients’ procedure schedules.
Christine Fung is a registered acupuncturist and registered traditional chinese medicine practitioner who's focus in Women's health and fertility. Her practice, Acupuncture Shiatsu Clinic in Mississauga, provides holistic services to treat chronic pain, infertility, depression and other chronic diseases.
Common Questions From Our IVF Clients
Why couples want to start 3 months early?
We recommend couples to plan their acupuncture and herbal treatments 3 months prior to start taking the IVF medication. For couples who have had failed IVF attempts or had any miscarriage, they should plan to start the treatments as early as 6 months prior to the next IVF cycle. It is important to understand that human body responses to natural holistic remedies much slower than chemical-based medications. Our bodies heal by making small positive changes one step at a time. Most body cells regenerate every 60 to 90 days in most healthy individuals and therefore 3 month cycles are usually recommended.
What is the success rate?
The influence on pregnancy rate using acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine is consistently changing as more studies are conducted. Several research studies showing a 15% to 25% improvements on pregnancy rate when frequent acupuncture treatments were employed. Furthermore, when embryo pre and post transfer acupuncture treatments were employed, research studies observed a 10% improvement on pregnancy rate. While these numbers are excited to learn, we shall emphasize that IVF success rate should be understood as historical measure of IVF procedures, and there isn't such statistic number as acupuncture success rate. The primary goal of receiving acupuncture and herbal medicine is to foster the most favorable conceiving rate, rather than changing the IVF success rate.
What if my IVF embryo transfer is scheduled for next week?
If your IVF embryo transfer is going to take place very soon, we recommend healthy women to receive pre-embryo transfer (within 24 hours before ET) and post-embryo transfer (within 24 hours after ET) acupuncture treatments to strengthen the womb and stabilize uterine lining for best implantation.
What are pre-embryo transfer and post-embryo transfer acupuncture?
Embryo Transfer acupuncture is a unique treatment designed to improve implantation and to prevent miscarriage upon embryo transfers. Patients shall receive one treatment within 24 hours prior to the embryo transfer carried out, and followed by another treatment within 24 hours after the embryo transfer. This acupuncture procedure aims to relax the sympathetic nervous system to minimize uterine contractions caused by the invasive IVF procedure. It also increases blood supply to the uterus for more stable implantation.
Is herbal medicine safe for IVF procedure?
Herbal medicine and acupuncture have very little influence on western medication as they work on different parts of the physiologic system. We recommend patients taking herbal medicine prior to the start of IVF medication cycle when possible. It is important to receive herbal medicine only from a Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP) who is registered in the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO), the only regulated body for TCM practitioners and acupuncturists in the province of Ontario.
What about unexplained infertility?
Unexplained infertility is a catch-all condition which the medical doctors cannot seem to find anything physically wrong with either the male or the female after dozens of tests and analysis of fallopian tubes, uterus, and semen and so on. Fortunately, in Traditional Chinese Medicine discipline, the treatment approach of infertility is very different from the western medicine. What seems to be unexplained in the laboratory tests and ultrasounds may well be explained. Couples who are diagnosed with unexplained infertility often find themselves conceive successfully after receiving TCM and acupuncture treatments along with the recommended lifestyle and diet changes.
How do I get started
Plan your treatment schedule early (3 to 6 months prior to IVF cycle) and expect to work closely with our therapists are the best advice we give to our patients. We encourage both yourself and your partner to visit us for the initial consultation. If possible, you may bring any available medical reports. Be prepared to provide feedback upon your treatments down the road (both acupuncture and herbal medicine) so we can help you achieve optimal health effectively.