While trying to conceive naturally, a healthy blood flow to the entire reproductive system is crucial to create healthy eggs and healthy sperm as well as maintaining a healthy endometrium. It is well understood that stress can diminish blood flow to those organs, making conception more difficult when couples are under stress. Acupuncture, as shown by multiple studies, is a safe and effective way to increase blood flow and decrease stress, two factors that will affect conception in a negative way if not kept in check.
At least four weeks before the egg retrieval phase, we start working with our patients to make sure that the eggs that their IVF clinic will be retrieving are of the highest quality. During the transfer phase, our focus is to make sure that the endometrium is as thick as possible. Four weeks before the transfer we begin to work with patients - aiming for a thickness of at least 8mm. In addition, studies have shown that the success of an embryo transfer can be increased when acupuncture is done the day of the transfer - before and after the transfer.
There are several reasons why a patient might decide to do an intrauterine insemination; the patient might not be ovulating, the sperm of the patient's partner is of low quality (low motility, low count, etc.), the patient is single, or the patient's partner is of the same gender as the patient. The treatment plan for the patient who will be carrying the baby is to increase blood flow to the entire reproductive system with the goal of improving egg quality as well as endometrium receptivity. At the same time, if there is a male partner and a semen analysis shows low sperm quality, treating the male partner becomes part of the treatment plan.
With this option we help those that are not able to go to an acupuncture fertility clinic for treatments. We interpret the results of the recommended lab work and offer guidance to help remedy any negative findings. This could include, but is not limited to: supplements, Chinese herbal formulas, dietary changes and exercise recommendations.