IVF & Natural Fertility
Acupuncture has traditionally been used in China to improve fertility and provide support for women during pregnancy. The goal of this treatment is not to just become pregnant, but to have a healthy pregnancy and labour.
Acupuncture is able to increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and by balancing hormones. Recently, a number of studies have shown that acupuncture, combined with IVF treatments, can increase your chances of falling pregnant by 65% – you can read more about this here. Monash IVF promotes the benefits of acupuncture treatment in conjunction with IVF, as well as herbal medicine and dietary changes/nutritional supplements from a qualified practitioner – see more details here.
Michelle is experienced in providing pre-conception care using acupuncture to improve fertility and in using acupuncture during pregnancy. Michelle recommends you prepare yourself for 2-3 months before becoming pregnant, by having regular acupuncture treatments, making appropriate diet & lifestyle changes and taking nutritional supplements. If you’d like to become pregnant sooner, that’s okay too, you can have a treatment at any time.
Acupuncture during pregnancy can help with issues of morning sickness, anxiety, migraines & headaches, sciatic pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, and tiredness. In the last four weeks of pregnancy, acupuncture treatment can help prepare you for labour by improving blood flow to the uterus and cervix, helping to normalise & regulate contractions, assisting with dilation of the cervix, which all reduce the need for medical interventions. For more information about using acupuncture to prepare for labour click here.
It is ideal for you to have acupuncture treatments once a week for 4-6 weeks before beginning an IVF cycle, but you can begin acupuncture treatment at any time during the IVF process.
Acupuncture can improve the chances of pregnancy if used at the same time as IVF treatments. It does this by increasing blood supply to the uterus and ovaries, enhancing the development of healthy follicles and improving implantation of the fertilised ovary in the uterus.
It is best if you can have an acupuncture treatment within 24 hours of your embryo transfer, either before or after the transfer, but ideally a treatment both before and after the transfer is recommended.
If IVF is successful, weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended for the first 12 weeks to ensure a successful pregnancy.