Acupuncture in IVF
Deciding to go down the IVF path can be a huge decision, and one that is rarely taken lightly.
I am often asked how regularly should you come in for acupuncture during an IVF cycle, so thought I would outline my general recommendations here.
Acupuncture and IVF can work really beautifully toegehter to help you achieve your goals.
Please remember that these recommendations are generalised, and may be different for your specific circumstances.
I have supported people from all different circumstances through IVF, from couples struggling with specific issues, to unknown infertility causes, as well as single mothers, or same sex couples. Every journey is unique, and I embrace and will support you regardless!
If possible I recommend starting your acupuncture sessions BEFORE you are wanting to launch into any form of assisted fertility (whether it be assisted ovulation, IUI, IVF or an embryo transfer).
The ideal time is usually three months before starting fertility treatment. It is not uncommon for patients to contact me in the weeks prior to an IVF cycle; while I am still happy to support you through the cycle, I like to let patients know aht twhen combining acupuncture and IVF it is best to try to have as much preparation time as possible.
I understand that this time frame is not always achievable, in that case any preparation treatments will be better than nothing.
During the preparation phase we will look at your menstrual cycle health, any herbs/supplements needed, as well as starting to make adjustments to lifestyle and diet to help you maximise your chances of achieving and maintaining a successful pregnancy.
Having a few months to make these changes allows some time for the changes to have an impact on your body.
Usually during this time I will be recommending weekly treatments.
During the Cycle
During the IVF cycle it is recommended that you continue with weekly treatment.
There are a couple of key dates that I like you to take note of though.
The first is the day of egg collection.
I usually offer a coupleo f choices for this day-
Either an appointment before the collection, OR an appointment following collection.
An appointment before collection can help you to feel relaxed, and less anxious about the upcoming procedure.
An appointment following the collection is usually aimed at helping to reduce any pain that you may be experiencing.
Different women experience different levels of pain after an egg collection. Please remember that you will have had a general anaesthetic, so only make the choice to come in for a session after egg collection if you are able to get driven to and from the appointment.
The second important date is the day of embryo transfer.
Transfer will usually occur five days after egg collection.
This is where acupunture and IVF together really shine!
It is recommended that you have at least one acupuncture session within 24hrs of transfer. The session can be either before, after, or both- we need to make sure that there is at least one session is within 24hrs of transfer.
After transfer has occured, we then go back to weekly appointments until the result is known.
Then we will celebrate!
Usually if pregnancy is successful I recommend continuing on with weekly acupuncture until the end of first trimester. Then providing everything is going smoothly, drop to a session every 4-6wks until we start with more regular sessions towards the end for birth preparation from 35/36wks.
If there are any complications, or you are struggling then I may recommend more regular sessions during the second/third trimesters. It really does depend on what else is going on!
If you aren’t successful this time, we will explore different possible contributing factors and I will help support you make further changes. I can also help you explore the options that are available to you- this is different for everyone depending on individual circumstances.
Want more information? Feel free to get in contact, or book in and I can go into more detail that is specific to your circumstances.