Fertility, IVF and Gynaecology
Couples searching for a reason why they have not been able to conceive are often given the rather frustrating diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’. Acupuncture, however, recognises that problems with conception can stem from quite subtle imbalances in both men and women, which do not show up in Western medical tests. Treatment focuses on bringing balance back to the system and promoting the healthy circulation of ‘Qi and Blood’.
We would also time treatments so we can work closely with your cycle and help regulate any problem areas (eg short luteal phase).
We recommend a 3 month course of treatment and pre-conceptual care, so that acupuncture can influence the body during the 3 months that it takes for both egg and sperm to mature. Couples can choose whether they wish to continue trying to conceive in this time or to wait until the end of the 3 month period.
Sometimes, both of the couple attend (separate) treatments but often just one attends and this can still be very effective. Men who have been given a less than optimal sperm test result often attend treatment to address any underlying imbalances.
To find out more about acupuncture and female fertility, click here and for male fertility, click here.
Many patients use acupuncture to help them whilst going through IVF or other assisted reproductive treatments. As well as addressing any underlying imbalances, the acupuncture therapy will aim to help the patient to relax and cope with the ups and downs of the treatment. Again, a treatment course of 3 months leading up to the IVF is recommended, so that acupuncture can influence the body during the 3 months that it takes for both egg and sperm to mature. However, acupuncture can still be used to influence your body positively with a shorter course of treatments.
We also recommend a treatment called the Paulus Protocol which is used before and after the embryo transfer. A research study (see here) found that the pregnancy rate was 42.5% of the group who had received the Paulus Protocol acupuncture and only 26.3% in the control group. To find out more about how acupuncture can help, click here.
Conditions Affecting Fertility
There are a number of gynaecological conditions that may sometimes affect fertility, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Endometriosis. Where patients have been given a diagnosis of one of these conditions, we will aim to address the underlying imbalances with the acupuncture treatment. To find out more about how acupuncture can help endometriosis, please click here. And to find out more about acupuncture and PCOS, click here.