There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Acupuncture for fertility and IVF
Are you struggling with trying to get pregnant, either for explained or unexplained reasons?
Do you have irregular cycles, or don’t think you are ovulating?
Do you suffer from or suspect you may have Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Does your partner have low egg reserve, low sperm count or sperm motility issues?
Are you considering starting or about to start IVF treatment, or have you been through countless rounds of IUI or IVF without success?
The uncertainty and pressure of infertility
Infertility whether it’s explained or unexplained can be a long and lonely journey, that at times can take over your life and put incredible pressure on you and your relationships. Often the uncertainty is the hardest part to deal with, especially when you feel that you are doing everything that you can. Most couples experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from hope, joy, fear, anger and sadness.
Often men don’t realise that they’re an important part of the equation. Did you know that up to 40% of unexplained infertility is down to the male factor?
Medical research suggests that traditional acupuncture can help to increase testosterone levels and improve sperm quality, quantity and motility. A man’s testes continually need to replenish sperm, and healthy sperm need time and the right environment to mature. This cycle takes about two to three months, so when planning to start a family; it makes sense for a man to think ahead.
Thank you so much for everything you have done over the last 12 months for me. It has not just been your amazing skills with needles that have been so important, but your compassion and support. We honestly don’t know what we would have done without you
The highs and lows of IVF
IVF is an amazing science if it works and we’re very lucky that today we have choices. However, the highs and lows and the physical and emotional difficulties that you may experience during this time, can make it a hard journey to go through, successful or otherwise.
Why choose acupuncture?
Acupuncture doubles chances of having a baby with IVF, study suggests.
A British study by Homerton University Hospital in London in 2016, found the pregnancy success rates were twice as high for those women having acupuncture treatment. The study involved 160 couples suffering from fertility problems. Half were assigned to have four sessions of acupuncture during their IVF cycle. One year on, those who underwent acupuncture, had achieved pregnancy rates of 46.2 per cent. Among those who had not, pregnancy rates were just 21.7 per cent.
Research has shown that Acupuncture may help in various areas relating to fertility, conception and pregnancy:
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
- Helping to counteract stress levels
- Improving blood circulation to the pelvic organs, including the ovaries and uterus, which may improve the thickness of the endometrial lining
- Promoting embryo implantation
- Helping to support ovulation dysfunction in some women
- Helping to improve sperm health
Acupuncture may double your chances of having a baby with IVF
Starting your Fertility Journey
It’s important to remember that on average it takes 8 months to conceive, so be kind to yourself and give yourself time. In an ideal world regardless of your fertility issues, or if you are about to embark on IUI or IVF, it’s worth considering starting a course of acupuncture at least 3 months beforehand. The reason being is that it can take up to 3-6 months to regulate menstrual cycles, improve ovulation and improve sperm health. This can seem like a large commitment in terms of time and money, but in the long run it will hopefully help you reduce the need for assisted fertility, and help you to get you and your body into the best place to conceive or embark on your round of IVF.
Top Tips to Boost Your Fertility
1. Eat well – Nutrition plays such an important role when it comes to fertility. It’s really important to consume nutrient-dense food prior to getting pregnant, to help you build healthy eggs and healthy sperm.
2. Have more sex – Sperm can live up to a week inside you, so regular sex helps ensure a constant flow of sperm for ovulation.
3. Cut out cigarettes – Smoking is hugely detrimental to fertility – to eggs and to sperm.
4. Reduce alcohol – Research shows us that on average, the more alcohol you drink, the longer it will take you to get pregnant and the less likely you are to be successful. For men, alcohol can affect sperm morphology and motility, and cause free-radical damage.
5. Reducing Caffeine – Caffeine can increase your risk of miscarriage, so if you, can try and reduce your intake slowly
6. Stress less – It’s important to take steps to reduce stress in your life as trying for a baby can be very stressful.
7. Take supplements – Consider taking a multi-vitamin and mineral that contains folic acid, zinc and selenium to improve your chances and sperm health.
8. Rest & Exercise – Trying to get a better balance in your life, with regular exercise as well as enough rest so that you aren’t too depleted.
9. Counselling – From my own experience and even if you think you have the strongest relationship in the world, you won’t regret seeking some additional help. Especially if you and your partner have different views on the best way forward or aren’t quite at the same stage emotionally.
Rachal Buller, Acupuncturist
Acupuncture during IVF treatment
I treat a lot of couples experiencing fertility issues and during IVF, and my patients tell me they find it a great support through what can be a very stressful and emotional time.
I offer flexible appointments to ensure my patients receive treatment before egg collection and on the day of embryo transfer, even if that is on a Sunday.
As an acupuncturist, I aim to help reduce stress levels, increase circulation to the reproductive organs and reduce any unwanted side effects caused by the IVF medication.
Dear Rachal, I just wanted to thank you for all your help you have given over the past year. As well as finding acupuncture a lovely treatment, your kindness, willingness to really listen (even when I am going ten to the dozen!) and sense of humour has made a huge difference. You have been an important part of a difficult journey and contributed to an amazing outcome. Thank you
Having personally experienced the agony of miscarriage, and then infertility following surgery, I was suddenly faced with the prospect of IVF in my late 30’s. I understand what it’s like to go through this and feel passionate about helping people on their fertility journey. I found acupuncture and homeopathy a great support during my IVF treatments and I never get tired of seeing the little miracles that occur in my acupuncture clinic today.
I have completed further training in female and male infertility, IVF and miscarriage with Jill Glover and maternity acupuncture, pregnancy, labour and postpartum care with Debra Betts.
To find out more or for just a chat?
If you would like to discuss how acupuncture might be able to help you with your fertility, or your partners. If you’d like some advice on what tests you may need to consider, or you’d like to know what to expect during IVF or how to navigate the IVF system, please just give me a call on Tel: 07535 947474 / 01494 771324 or drop me a line via my Contact Page.
Would you like to make an appointment?