Fertility interventions such as IVF can be an emotional rollercoaster for couples. Burning questions such as “will it work for me?”, the stress of juggling IVF treatment alongside work, the pressure from well-meaning family and friends, and the appearance of babies around every corner, can make this all feel like a huge burden to carry. As time ticks by, women and couples can often feel stuck in a cycle of stress and anxiety.
Having acupuncture at this time can offer a safe haven to vent worries and anxieties, provides an opportunity to deeply relax and de-stress, and allows for some much needed “me time”. But over and above all that, acupuncture also brings other benefits to each stage of the IVF process.
Many NHS fertility clinics, including our local one at Fertility Fusion in Wrightington near Wigan, now encourage patients to consider having acupuncture during fertility treatment.
There is growing evidence that using appropriate acupuncture treatment may assist with fertility treatment, boosting the chances of a successful pregnancy – from Fertility Fusion Wrightington*
Fertility experts at Wrightington recommend starting acupuncture 3-4 months before beginning IVF and some clients are able to do this. These sessions allow time for valuable preparation work. I use acupuncture during this phase to optimise natural levels of fertility and prepare both your mind and body for the process ahead. This treatment opportunity is open to both men and women.
Not everyone is able to begin acupuncture treatment several months before IVF. However, acupuncture still has a lot to offer, even if you are about to start or are already in the IVF process.
Acupuncture can bring benefits to each of the stages of the IVF process as follows:
- Weekly acupuncture during the cycle prior to IVF starting can help to prepare the uterus, follicles and sperm for the next stage
- Twice weekly acupuncture during ovarian stimulation can support follicular development and support the building of a healthy and receptive lining on the uterus
- A treatment prior to egg collection can support the final stage of follicular development
- Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer, has been shown to significantly increase the chances of pregnancy
- A session of acupuncture during the two week wait can help reduce anxiety and stress whilst waiting for your pregnancy test
If you would like to discuss the option of having acupuncture during IVF, please get in touch. For a summary of some recent research on the benefits of acupuncture during IVF and ICSI you might be interested to read my recent article.