At Fertile Ground Health Group, our acupuncturists are experts in the treatment of infertility for men and women and also issues which may present during early pregnancy.

Our practitioners see patients with fertility issues as part of their daily practice so you can be confident the treatment methods chosen are known for their therapeutic value and safety. The majority of our patients will incorporate acupuncture into their treatment regime and some choose to also use Chinese herbal medicine. Not all of our Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners use Chinese herbal medicine, so do check with our receptionist at the time of booking if you wish to use both. There have been three meta-analyses conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration and each has found that acupuncture is a useful addition to IVF.

The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent, international organisation providing the most up-to-date research about the efficacy of healthcare worldwide. A meta-analysis is the process of looking at all the best research (randomised, controlled trials) in a particular area (e.g. acupuncture and IVF) to determine its efficacy. In the case of acupuncture, the British Medical Journal stated “that adding acupuncture to IVF improved pregnancy rates more than any other recent improvement or advance in IVF technology”. See full text here.

Another separate Cochrane meta-analysis review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. More information here.

Further research demonstrates that acupuncture can:

  • Increase uterine and ovarian blood flow (Stener-Victorin E, et al,1996)
  • Optimise follicular development and endometrial lining (Yu W et.al. 2007)
  • Improve micro circulation to uterus and ovaries (Stener-Victorin E et al, 2003)
  • Reduce uterine artery impedance (Stener-Victorin E, et al, 1996 & Ming H et al, 2009)
  • Regulate hormones, including improved response to hormonal stimulation (Magarelli, PC, et al, 2009 & Quintero R et al, Fertil Steril, 2004 & Magarelli P, et al 2004)

Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility. Your practitioner will seek to normalise and optimise your cycle by working with regular appointments geared toward optimising normal function at that particular time, as well as treating other underlying issues which may be affecting your fertility. Weekly treatments are usually recommended for acupuncture (and if herbs are being used they will be regularly adjusted as well). While the main research focuses on the pre and post-transfer appointment as a key time for treatment, much more can be achieved through regular acupuncture in the weeks preceding and following embryo transfer. Once your embryo is safely on board we focus on miscarriage prevention until, hopefully, 12 weeks following a positive pregnancy test. If not, we help you prepare and focus on a more positive outcome in subsequent cycles. Patients consistently report that acupuncture:

  • Alleviates side effects from medication and/or egg pick-up including trauma, bleeding, bloating, pain, constipation and anxiety
  • Reduces uterine cramping / pain
  • Increases their sense of wellbeing, stress reduction and relaxation

Acupuncture and herbal medicine is also an appropriate intervention for assisting with sperm quality and quantity issues. Regular treatments over a longer period of time (ideally 3 months) achieves the best outcome.

 

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