Acupuncture for IVF, Infertility and Trying to Conceive

Acupuncture for IVF, Infertility and Trying to Conceive

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When I first met with my fertility doctor I asked her what I could be doing to make my treatment more successful. She suggested trying acupuncture before my egg retrieval and before my transfer, and I am so glad I did. Not only do I believe it helped develop my follicles before my egg retrieval, I know it helped prepare my body for embryo implantation during my successful frozen embryo transfer. I also think it helped reduce my stress surrounding the entire situation as well. It’s pretty relaxing!

Before my egg retrieval I was down to the wire and desperate for something that might help my body produce more eggs. At every ultrasound they were only seeing 3-4 follicles. I needed as many embryos to survive as possible to send to genetic testing. I knew that only about 50% of the eggs that we got would fertilize and survive, then another 50% of what we sent for genetic testing would come back normal.

So, about a week before my retrieval I looked into various acupuncturists in my area and found one that specialized in Fertility. (I think if I had time to go to a few more sessions before my retrieval, I may have had even better results.) She was able to get me in the weekend before my retrieval just for one session, and I truly believe it helped. I was able to get 7 eggs, 4 embryos fertilized and survived and went to genetic testing, and we ended up with 2 normal, great quality little embryos. I was extremely happy with that based on my doctor’s original predictions. (You can find out more about my story HERE.)

I didn’t do any acupuncture with my first frozen embryo transfer that failed. So, I wanted to try it with my second transfer since it was our last shot at having another baby. I didn’t want any regrets, and wanted to pull out all the stops to make sure it worked.

I called my acupuncturist, and she recommended coming every week (this was 2 months before my transfer) until and once or twice after the transfer, as well as before and after the actual procedure at my Doctor’s office. There was no way I would be able to do it every week leading up to my transfer due to budget constraints and no childcare. She said it would still be beneficial for me to come every other week for two months before the transfer, once a week for two weeks before the transfer, and just do it the day of the transfer as well.

So, I bought a treatment package and booked my appointments and transfer date. I am SO glad I decided to do acupuncture for IVF. It reduced stress, helped my confidence throughout the procedure, and I’m sitting here with my third trimester belly in the way as I’m typing this! Something must have worked!

Definitely do your research, and decide what is best for you. But, this is why I decided to try acupuncture during my IVF treatment.

Benefits of Acupuncture during IVF:

Stress Relief

There are some studies out there that claim acupuncture doesn’t affect IVF outcomes. Even if that is true, you have to admit that anything to reduce stress during one of the most stressful times of your life will help prepare your body for your IVF treatment. Managing stress levels is important to hormone balance and uterine health. So, that in itself is a good reason to try an acupuncture treatment or two. If anything, you’ll at least feel better and more confident going into your retrieval or transfer.

Increased Blood Circulation

Circulation to your uterus is so important before your egg retrieval. And, it helps thicken your uterine lining before your transfer. Increased circulation helps increase your endometrial lining, creating a nice cushion for your embryo to implant. Before your egg retrieval, increased circulation will also help to increase the number of follicles produced during treatment.

Hormone Regulation

Acupuncture may help regulate hormone levels to aid in infertility. Balanced hormones may help normalize ovulation and help those with thyroid problems. It also helps those with PCOS. 

Increased Sperm Quality and Count

Acupuncture isn’t just for women undergoing IVF! Acupuncture also may improve sperm quality and count in men suffering with infertility. 

The benefits of acupuncture for IVF definitely outweigh the negatives. I highly recommend acupuncture for IVF. Unless you can’t afford it or it just causes extra stress having more appointments in your already insane schedule. Don’t get too discouraged by the price. You can hopefully work with your acupuncturist to figure out something that works for you. Even if you just do it the day of the transfer. In my opinion? It is harmless, and could possibly increase your chances of a successful transfer. So, why not?!

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5 responses to “Acupuncture for IVF, Infertility and Trying to Conceive”

  1. Jessica

    I’m glad it’s worked. I just failed one cryotransfer. I’m doing the test to check my lining properly now and just got first session of acupuncture last week. Friday they are performing the Biopsy for the test. I have 3 remains embryos they were not test(I regretted). If the test is good I’ll do another transfer next cycle. And also I have tendency to grow fast polyps in my uterus.
    Baby blast ?? And congratulations ?

    1. FertileFoods

      So sorry to hear about your failed cycle! Acupuncture really worked for me. I wish you all the luck in your next transfer! Fingers crossed!

  2. Janell

    Where did they place the needles?

    1. FertileFoods

      Hi Janell,
      She actually placed the needles in various places based on where I was in my cycle. They were all over my body – legs, abdomen, forehead, ears, head, etc. It doesn’t hurt at all, and is actually very pleasant!

  3. Amy

    I’ve had one round of IVF retrieval and about to go into my transfer in two days. I’ve been doing acupuncture and Maya massage for several weeks now during my lead up to my transfer. I switched insurance to one that offered coverage for that. I have no idea if this will help the transfer, but it sure has helped with my stress. It’s so wonderful having more practitioners who have helped other women with fertility issues in my corner and supporting me through this process. I’ve not really leaned into naturopathy before IVF, but I would also highly recommend it. Just go into with an open mind and give in to just relaxing as much as possible. I’m with you – why not try it if you have the means and the time? It certainly couldn’t hurt.

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