What is IVF and how Chinese Medicine works?
Women are born with a finite number of eggs which are more than halved by the end of puberty; this is why it can be so difficult to fall pregnant in your late 30's and early 40’s. (1)
Chinese Medicine practitioners may recommend Acupuncture as an adjunct treatment to IVF treatment. There is continuing research and debate about how Acupuncture can assist with IVF treatment and you should consult your treating practitioner/s if Acupuncture may be able to assist you.
IVF has become more accessible to older women, single women, same sex couples and people from a non traditional family unit.
There have been many claims on the success rates of Acupuncture but it is important to state that it is still currently unclear if Acupuncture supports the various forms of Assisted Reproductive Technology. The field of IVF and ICSI is relatively new and its engagement with Chinese Medicine even more so. This means that there are very few clinical trials. Much more research is needed in the field.
In the Acupuncture Evidence Project, which collated research from a number of trials, it was shown to be unclear if Acupuncture supported IVF or ICSI. Systemic reviews by Qian et al and Jo showed more support than previous reviews but for the moment the evidence is ‘unclear’. Despite this fertility specialists at both Melbourne and Monash IVF may recommend Acupuncture if they believe it will help alleviate your stress levels and you can find information about Acupuncture on their websites or better still talk to your IVF specialist directly about this.
Up to 15% of couples need medical intervention to become pregnant.
In IVF hormones are injected to control ovulation, eggs are removed and fertilized outside the body, and after a few days embryos are transferred back into the womb. Around 3% of babies are born this way.
IVF & ICSI is an expensive and stressful process, we recognize that the stress can cause anxiety and mood swings and with this in mind we assist you through this exciting yet emotional journey. There is some moderate evidence to support the use of Acupuncture for anxiety and we will support you with Acupuncture and lifestyle advise (1).
(1) Goyata SL, Avelino CC, Santos SV, Souza Junior DI, Gurgel MD, Terra FS. Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: integrative review. Rev Bras Enferm. 2016 Jun;69(3):602-9
We provide a holistic approach taking into consideration the many health concerns you might need addressed such as anxiety about the labour or management of muscular aches and pains. Additionally some emerging research has also shown Acupuncture may be potentially beneficial as an adjunct therapy for labour pain (1).
(1). Levett KM, Smith CA, Dahlen HG, Bensoussan A. Acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour and birth: a critical narrative review of current systematic review evidence. Complement Ther Med. 2014 Jun;22(3):523-40.