IVF Acupuncture

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Spring’s expert IVF Acupuncturists use carefully selected and research-based combinations of acupuncture, gentle herbs, supplementation and Chinese dietetic medicine to increase the effectiveness of your IVF.

At Spring Acupuncture we understand that undergoing IVF can be a very stressful, exhausting and overwhelming experience. There can also be a number of factors that exacerbate these negative feelings and experiences during your IVF cycle. This can create unforeseen consequences that may render your expensive IVF treatments less effective, or even completely ineffective. As if the journey isn’t heartbreaking enough, right???

Our highly qualified and registered acupuncture team at Spring “get” the IVF fertility journey (read Leigh, the founders IVF story here) and know that it takes more than just pumping your body with medications to create your baby. And.. Not only do we understand the physical, emotional and mental toll this journey can take on you. We also know that there is much that you can be doing to not only thrive as you move through your IVF cycle, but we have the training and tools to help you to relax into, and even enjoy the process of creating you baby.

Making your baby should bring you feelings of joy, happiness and love, just like the emotions you felt when you first decided that you were ready to become a parent, and we are here to guide you back to all these wonderful feels as you bring your beautiful baby into your arms. Your journey to parenthood may not look like how your first envisioned, but when you hold your baby in your arms you will know that it was all worth it.

Our IVF Acupuncture treatments follow the latest in research data that suggests acupuncture in conjunction with IVF can significantly improve clinical pregnancy and live birth rates in women undergoing IVF treatment (1),(6),(8). Our program works by reducing emotional and physical stress, improving egg quality and promoting an optimal environment for implantation, resulting in significantly improved chances of pregnancy and live birth rates.

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We focus on women’s health using Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine to regulate hormones, effectively supporting the symptoms of endometriosis, PCOS and menopause.

What is Spring’s IVF Acupuncture?

Our IVF acupuncture treatments use very fine acupuncture needles inserted into acupuncture points on the body that optimise your fertility. These treatments also incorporate gentle herbs, supplementation and Chinese dietetic advice to promote an ideal environment for optimal follicle and egg development, sperm quality, endometrial lining, embryo implantation and early stage pregnancy. Our treatments are integrated into your IVF schedule and provide support for the ‘critical’ IVF procedures; follicle stimulation, before and after egg collection, embryo transfer and the dreaded 2 week wait.

The importance of acupuncture throughout your IVF journey extends further than just on the day of embryo transfer. It is ideal for couples to begin acupuncture treatments as soon as possible to experience the full physiological effects of acupuncture on the body’s reproductive system. Ideally, you would begin your IVF preparation 3 months before beginning your IVF journey to optimise egg, uterine and sperm health.

Our IVF acupuncture treatments use very fine acupuncture needles inserted into acupuncture points on the body that optimise your fertility. These treatments also incorporate gentle herbs, supplementation and Chinese dietetic advice to promote an ideal environment for optimal follicle and egg development, sperm quality, endometrial lining, embryo implantation and early stage pregnancy. Our treatments are integrated into your IVF schedule and provide support for the ‘critical’ IVF procedures; follicle stimulation, before and after egg collection, embryo transfer and the dreaded 2 week wait.

Research: Improving IVF with Acupuncture 

Acupuncture for stress associated with IVF:

A study conducted by researchers at the University IVF clinic in Pittsburgh found that with the use of acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer, participants in the acupuncture group not only had a higher pregnancy rate (55.6% in acupuncture group vs 35.5% in the control group/non acupuncture group), they also had low stress scores at both the before and after embryo transfer stress level testing (2).

 This suggests that stress can play a significant role in IVF pregnancy rates (2). In fact, a previous study on stress and IVF Implantation rates highlighted the fact that a prolonged state of stress is associated with high blood levels of activated T-cells, which can lead to a reduction in implantation rates (3).

 Furthermore, in 2009 the Fertility and Sterility Journal included an article that concluded the use of acupuncture during the medication phase on an IVF cycle is beneficial in lowering stress hormones leading to a more normal fertile cycle dynamic. (4)

How does our IVF Acupuncture enhance your IVF success?

Our IVF acupuncture treatments use a combination of accent Chinese Medicine wisdom with modern medical science to improve your fertility as your prepare, and move through your IVF treatment. Our expert fertility Acupuncturists use a combination of Chinese medicine, The Fertile Life MethodTM, neurolinguistic programming, hypnosis and many other highly specialised tools to support each phase of your menstrual cycle as your prepare for and undergo IVF treatment. Ideally treatment would begin 3 months prior to the commencement of your IVF to prepare the body and address your whole health so that any underlying complex issues that may impact the success of your IVF are harmonised before you start the process of creating your baby. Our
treatment will focus on balancing your hormones, regulating your cycle, improving and supporting the development of healthy eggs and
endometrial lining, as well as reducing stress and the side effects of IVF medications.

Research: Acupuncture Increases Live Birth Rates

Chart data obtained from The British Medical Journal (9) The highly renowned British Medical Journal published a systematic review and meta analysis reviewing all available research on the effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization. The authors concluded that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improved live birth rates among women undergoing IVF (9).

Research: Acupuncture Increases Pregnancy Rates

Research: Acupuncture Increases Pregnancy Rates

Part One: During the follicular phase (Pre egg collection)

1. Days 1-3 of cycle:

During this active period phase, acupuncture is used to promote healthy shedding of the endometrium. One treatment is recommended in this time, however if you suffer severe pain, excessing bleeding or even very light bleeding during this phase it may be recommended to have a follow-up treatment within 48 hours to assist with harmonising and balancing this phase of your cycle.

2. Days 4-10 of cycle:

This is key follicular development time and is a highly important stage of treatment for women who have been diagnosed with poor egg quality, PCOS, endometriosis or has been a previous poor responder to IVF medications. Acupuncture treatments during this phase will focus on establishing an optimal environment for follicle growth and development by increasing blood flow to the ovaries as well and the uterus. This will ensure proper nourishment and energy is available to your follicles during this key period of growth. Two-Three treatments are recommended in this phase.

3. Day of Egg Collection:

It is recommended to have acupuncture both before and after egg collection to assist with preparing for the egg collection procedure and reducing the impact of the procedure and stress levels in order to maintain an internal environment that in conducive with the next stage off your IVF treatment, embryo transfer. It may be recommended to those having an egg collection procedure without a general anaesthetic to have acupuncture on the morning of egg collection to assist with relaxing the mind and body for the procedure. The post-collection acupuncture treatment will promote fast healing of any physical trauma caused by the procedure, reduce any bleeding and promote blood flow to the uterus to maintain a healthy endometrial lining.

Part Two: During the Luteal Phase (Post egg collection)

1. The days in between collection and transfer:

This can be a highly stressful time for most couples as they wait to see if their eggs and sperm first come together for fertilisation and then develop into healthy embryos. Acupuncture during this phase will assist with healthy blood flow to the uterus for the development and maintenance of an endometrial lining that is ready to receive your baby, promote optimal progesterone levels, and assist with reducing stress hormone levels. This treatment is especially important for women who have been told their endometrial lining has not reached the desired thickness for implantation or has a history of thin endometrial lining.

1 treatment 2-3 days post-collection is recommended during this phase.

2. Day of Transfer:

Research shows that acupuncture on the day of transfer can significantly improve your chances of a successful pregnancy. IVF alone has a 12-32% clinical pregnancy rate (6), however, when combed with acupuncture treatments immediately before and after embryo transfer, your chances of pregnancy can increase to 44.6%

(8). For this we recommend coming in for a treatment before you head to your transfer and then coming back to the clinic directly after your transfer for a post-transfer acupuncture treatment.

3. Implantation:

Between the day after and until 5 days post your transfer, implantation of the embryo into your uterine lining will have occurred (you’ve done all the hard work so we’re confident it has). 1 treatment 4-5 days post transfer is recommended during this phase to support healthy implantation.

4. The week after transfer:

The dreaded two week wait period is when you are going to need a little extra love and support. We know you are tough, but we are here to make sure you breeze through this phase as it can be a highly stressful time as you wait for your positive pregnancy test results.

Any amount of stress during this stage can have a significant impact on embryo implantation and early pregnancy development.

Acupuncture during phase will address any factors that physically mentally and/or emotionally may impact your outcomes and experience during in this time.

1 treatment is recommended during this phase.

(Please note that this is only a guide to our IVF Support Program as each program will be individualised to your specific needs and requirements)

Research: Use of Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer

Human Fertility Journal Abstract (8) (abstracts from UK Fertility Societies Conference 2009)

All IVF cases in which acupuncture was administered before and after embryo transfer at a large private infertility centre were reviewed for a 2 year period. All patients were treated by the same practitioner (NDB) using Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA). Patients received acupuncture to the protocol developed by Paulus, W.E., Zhang, M., Strehler, E., El-Danasouri, I., & Sterzik, K. (2002). Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertility & Sterility, 77, 721–724: Liver 3, Spleen 8, Stomach 29, Pericardium 6, GV 20 were manually stimulated five times over a 40-min period, at Bridge, approximately 10–20 minutes prior to embryo transfer. Embryo transfer was carried out under ultrasound guidance as per routine at Bridge. Ten minutes following embryo transfer acupoints Spleen 6, Stomach 36, Spleen 10, Large Intestine 4 were manually stimulated five times over a 40-min period before discharging the patient. Ear points 34, 55 and 58 were used in both treatments and not stimulated.

A total of 71 patients underwent 74 cycles involving acupuncture before and after embryo transfer. Overall, positive pregnancy rates/ET were 44.6% comparing favourably with the non-acupuncture historic control group. When analysed by maternal age at time of treatment, biochemical pregnancy results for acupuncture treated women were as follows: <35 years−52%; 35–39 years – 45%; 40–45 years – 35%. Results for women aged 35–39 years and those over 40 years were markedly better than controls suggesting that acupuncture intervention of this type may be more effective in older women. No side effects or complications were experienced by women receiving acupuncture. Acupuncture is a safe, adjunct therapy in IVF and in other randomised clinical trials has been shown to significantly improve outcomes when used at the IVF centre before and after embryo transfer.

Our preliminary data are encouraging and suggest that a trial involving older women may be effective. Nick Dalton-Brewer, David Gillott, Nataly Atalla, Mohamed Menabawey, Pauline Wright, & Alan Thornhill The London Bridge Fertility, Gynaecology and Genetics Centre, London, UK

Research: Acupuncture Improves Pregnancy Rate and Implantation Rate in Patients with Implantation Failure

For optimal acupuncture support during your next IVF cycle if you have a history of implantation failure:

1. Initial Consultation

It is required that you first attend an Initial IVF Acupuncture Consultation with one of our specialist practitioners so as they can assess if this protocol is best for you. It is recommended that you do this treatment prior to the 5th day of your transfer cycle.

2. 6 TEAS treatments between day 5 of your cycle and the day before transfer

These treatments will follow the TEAS protocol used in the above research to optimise your implantation and pregnancy rate changes prior to your transfer. We offer a special discounted package deal rate of $399 for these 6 treatments (note: these treatments must be used in this period prior to your embryo transfer. No refunds or appointment type transfers are given)

3. 1 TEAS treatment directly after embryo transfer

4. 1 TEAS treatment 7 days post transfer

Research: IVF Cycle-specific Live Birth Success Rates in Australia and New Zealand

The follow excerpt has been taken from the Australia and New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Database (ANZARD) 2012 statistical report; ‘Since 2009, ANZARD has included data items that make it possible to follow a woman’s successive ART treatment cycles. A cohort of 16,565 women was followed from the start of their first autologous fresh cycle during 2009, through subsequent fresh and thaw cycles until December 2012, or until they achieved a live delivery. The cycle-specific live delivery rate for all women was 21.1% in their first cycle, and apart from an initial drop from cycle one to cycle two, the live delivery rate remained stable at around 14–17% for the next seven cycles. One quarter of women did not proceed with a subsequent treatment cycle when they did not achieve a live birth.’ (6)

These less than desirable statistics of IVF success in Australia highlights the importance of acupuncture during your IVF cycle to significantly improve your chances of conception.

Research References On This Page

1. Cui Hong Zheng, C.H., Huang, G.Y., Zhang, M.M., & Wang, W., Effects of Acupuncture on pregnancy rates in Women undergoing In-vitro fertilization: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Fertility and Sterility. 1-11-2012

2. Balk J et al, The relationship between perceived stress, Acupuncture, and Pregnancy Rates Among IVF patients: Pilot Study, Compl Therapies in Clinical Practice 2010, 16, 154-157, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 

3. Ebbesen S. et al, Article; Stressful Life Events are Associated with a Poor In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) Outcome: A Prospetive Study.. Hum Reprod 2009;24(9):2173-2182. Human Reproduction

4. Cohen, M., et al.,Changes in Serum Cortisol and Prolactin Associated with Acupuncture During IVF, Magarelli, PC, D Cridennda,. Fertil Steril 2009 in press fertility and Sterility

5. Cakmak Y et al, Point- and Frequency- specific Response of the Testicular Artery to Abdominal Electroacupuncture in Humans., Fertil Steril 2008;90:1732-8, Fertility and Sterility

6. Macaldowie A, Wang YA, Chughtai AA & Chambers GM 2014. Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2012. Sydney: National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit, the University of New South Wales

7. Westergaard, L. G., et al. Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial, 2006 American Society for Reproductive Medicine;85:1341– 6. 

8. Dalton-Brewer N et al, Hum Fert 2010 Vol 12 No 4 212 – 255 Human Fertility (abstracts from UK Fertility Societies Conference 2009)

9. Manheimer Eric, Zhang Grant, Udoff Laurence, Haramati Aviad, Langenberg Patricia, Berman Brian M et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 2008; 336 : 545

Have questions? Please contact Spring

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We help couples trying to conceive naturally or with IVF, increase their likelihood of a healthy conception by providing evidence based fertility acupuncture that has been reported in respected medical journals*. Our accredited acupuncturists are also experts in natural pregnancy support as well as the treatment of chronic and acute back pain, digestion issues, stress and anxiety, low moods, insomnia, headaches and migraines.

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