Acupuncture is one of the complementary medicines that is well researched and it’s efficacy confirmed as a supporting medicine model improving your chances to conceive and to support you while you are preparing for and having IVF treatment.
It is based on restoring the homoeostatic equilibrium in the body by stimulating it to regulate its essential functions by itself. When the body and mind are in balance, we enjoy good health: our metabolic functions are timely, we sleep soundly, have regular bowel movements, have a robust immune system and our reaction to stress is appropriate to the situation.
During your journey on route to parenthood, and depending on the course of treatment prescribed by your IVF team, acupuncture helps you in different ways.
- Acupuncture regulates fertility hormone levels including FSH and LH and improves the function of hypothalamic pituitary-ovarian axis that goes out of balance under continuous stress.
- If you are going through the long protocol IVF cycle, during the down-regulation phase, acupuncture helps with the side effects of the medication, reducing incidence of menopause-like symptoms-hot flushes, increased sense of heat at night, headaches, fatigue and sweating. This is achieved through acupuncture’s regulating effect of the prolactin and cortisol levels.
- In the phase of up regulation, acupuncture helps to improve the number and quality of eggs to be collected at egg retrieval, leading to more successful formation of embryos.
- Important to remember is that the male partner can also benefit from acupuncture, helping with lowering of the scrotal temperature, better circulation and if administered in a course of sessions, improve the quality of the sperm improving chances of good quality embryo formation.
- Following the egg collection, acupuncture has pain modulation effect, helping with discomfort following the procedure and encouraging quicker recovery process in preparation for subsequent embryo transfer.
- When embryo transfer is scheduled, it is advisable to have acupuncture treatment as close to before and as soon as possible after the transfer, to keep you calm and relaxed and to encourage embryo implantation through stimulating a good blood flow and oxygenation in the uterus.
- During all stages of your preparation for conception and/or IVF the overall effect of the relaxing component of acupuncture is very important. This comes to the forefront during the dreaded two week wait, when more than ever during you protocol you might find it difficult to deal with stress of sudden quiet in the anticipation of pregnancy test.
- Acupuncture supports your emotions and prevents anxiety, a major contributor to stress symptoms that can lead to low appetite, bowel movement disturbances and poor sleep patterns. If all your essential bodily functions and hormones are regulated to their best potential, your journey to parenthood will be smoother and easier.
If you decide to have acupuncture treatments to support you during your conception journey, rest assured that this is where we look into your reproductive health very thoroughly and in great detail.
Lifestyle, diet and relaxation techniques are considered and advice given accordingly to support you in between your acupuncture sessions and medical treatments.
With the understanding of how much more it can be done for you during challenging times of planning your family, you will regain some of the control that sometimes seems to be lost with every visit to the doctor, after a consultation with the embryologist and in between endless blood tests- and much more to loosen that control when it is overriding you into a constant state of fret.
I work with many couples whose fertility issues are different, their ages are different, and their overall circumstances are different.
But, there is yet one to come out of my acupuncture clinic that has not been helped in some, or many ways, on their parenthood journey.
Gordana Petrovic BScHons TCM RSM MacS
Acupuncture Fertility Specialist
GP Acupuncture Harley Street
t: 0203 432 2622
m: 07548 383 951