How can acupuncture improve pregnancy rates during in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Certified acupuncturist Susan Kim, DC, FIAMA, CCN, CSCS, shares how acupuncture is a safe, effective accompaniment to IVF treatments:
Simply put, what is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very thin and generally painless needles into specific points on the body to restore balance and encourage healing. Acupuncture stimulates energy pathways throughout the body to achieve a desired outcome–such as increased IVF success.
How does acupuncture improve pregnancy rates?
Many studies have shown that acupuncture is a very safe and effective procedure to accompany IVF treatment and greatly improves pregnancy rates for those undergoing IVF. Some studies have shown a 40-to-90 percent increase in success rates for patients receiving acupuncture along with traditional medical practices.
Here’s how it can help those undergoing IVF: Having an acupuncture treatment before the IVF treatment can help dilate the cervix, allowing the embryo to be transferred more easily into the uterus. It also helps relieve stress and relax you.
After the embryo transfer, but on the same day, acupuncture is used to improve blood flow to the uterus, preparing its lining for implantation, and to relax the uterus to prevent contractions. It is also used to manage the changes and concerns a woman experiences throughout pregnancy.
Acupuncture for male infertility
In addition, acupuncture can help with male infertility. This is important because studies show that the quality of the sperm has a great influence on the health of the embryo, and it affects the overall success and vitality of the pregnancy.
Timing of treatments
It’s important to time your acupuncture treatment properly to improve your chances of pregnancy success. A certified acupuncturist can help answer any questions you may have about acupuncture treatments, timing alongside IVF, acupuncture during pregnancy and more.