I have a special interest in the treatment of infertility and work with couples, single parents, same sex couples, donar eggs, donor sperm and surrogacy. Acupuncture can be very supportive at all stages of conception, from enhancing natural fertility, to being used along side assisted conception. My aim is to help bring you into a better state of health for conception, pregnancy and parenthood.
Acupuncture, diet and lifestyle advise can be used successfully to support female and male fertility. The most common conditions I see are endometriosis, PCO'S, high FSH, low AMH, irregular cycles, unexplained infertility and poor sperm quality. During the first appointment a thorough consultation will be taken. We will look at your menstrual cycle in depth and review how each phase of your cycle is working. We will also note any hormone tests, pelvic scans, or sperm results you may have had. As well as your menstrual cycle we will take into account your overall health and any stress impacting on your life and wellbeing.
Acupuncture can help:
regulate fertility hormones
increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, improving blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
improve the thickness of the endometrial lining
increase the chances of embryo implantation
calms the mind
manages PMT symptoms
I encourage most clients to try and commit to 3 months of acupuncture treatments, including 4 weekly sessions, followed by fortnightly sessions or focussing on a specific part of the cycle that might need help. Some women will need more than this, some less. However, we can always work with what the individual can commit to.
Acupuncture and IVF
I see many couples going through assisted conception, whether that is IUI, ovulation stimulation such as clomid, or IVF, and truly believe acupuncture to be of great assistance at this stressful time. Over the years I have been in practice, I have found the following management strategy to be most effective during an IVF cycle.
Before a cycle starts, I recommend regular sessions to help prepare the body and mind, help correct any underlying imbalances, and optimise the uterine environment. Ideally sessions should commence 1 to 3 months before the IVF cycle starts.
During the down regulation phase (if on a long cycle), acupuncture is used to help address any side effects from the medication such as hot flushes, headaches, constipation and emotional changes. We also support a thorough discharge of the endometrial lining during the period in this phase. Weekly treatments are recommended.
During the stimulation phase drugs are supplied by the clinic to grow as many follicles as possible. Acupuncture supports the egg growth, helps thicken the endometrial lining, supports emotional changes, and addresses side effects of the drugs such as bloating. If there is a likelihood of over stimulation, such as with PCO'S, acupuncture can help at this time. Usually two sessions are advised during this phase.
After egg collection acupuncture is very useful at supporting the body to heal, deal with any excess fluids, and optimise the uterine environment before the egg transfer.
Acupuncture at the time of embryo transfer has been shown to increase the likelihood of a positive pregnancy test. Treatment focuses on increasing blood flow in the uterus, reducing uterine contractions and help deal with any anxiety and stress.
The two week wait can be an anxious time. Gentle treatment at this time may influence implantation and relieve stress and anxiety.