How does acupuncture help improve fertility?
Acupuncture increases blood flow to the ovaries, which provides the optimal conditions necessary to improve egg quality and increase follicle count.
Acupuncture improves blood circulation within the uterine lining to promote successful implantation.
Acupuncture reduces the side effects of medications used in IVF protocols.
Acupuncture decreases uterine contractions, which encourages implantation and prevents miscarriage.
Acupuncture reduces the stress of trying to get pregnant.
Acupuncture helps to balance the immune system and supports general health.
Fertility-related conditions treated include:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Anxiety / depression
Side effects of hormone treatments
We recognize that men also play a significant role in a couple’s ability to conceive. Stress, toxicity in our environment, poor nutrition and more all play a role in decreasing sperm quality and effectiveness. Treatments will help to reduce stress, fatigue, depression, and anxiety while also:
Improving sperm quality
Increasing sperm concentration
Supporting better quality of sleep
Decreasing DNA Fragmentation
Increasing motility and morphology
Fertility: IVF (Low) Success Rates
The two major types of IVF success rates are the clinical pregnancy rate and the live birth rate
Fertility: TCM Herbal Medicine Success Rates
Meta-analysis of Medline and Cochrane databases 2015 until December 2013 for randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses investigating Chinese herbal medicine therapy (CHM) for female infertility and compared clinical pregnancy rates achieved with CHM versus WM drug treatment.
Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese herbal medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 3-6 month period compared with Western medical (WM) fertility drug therapy.
Trials included women with PCOS, endometriosis, anovulation, fallopian tube blockage, or unexplained infertility. Mean pregnancy rates in the CHM group were 60% compared with 33% in the WM group.
Ref: Complement Ther Med. 2015 Feb;23(1):116-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 3
Infertility: TCM, Herbal Formulas & IVF
The Importance of Chinese Herbal Formulas
#1 Regulating the Menstrual Cycle
#2 NO NEED TO RUSH (increased risk for complications with fetal development)
TCM Etiologies are clear diagnoses that identify the imbalances in the body causing infertile conditions.
Main Infertility Complications: Anger/Stress (emotions), Obesity, Blood Stasis, Low Energy, Long Term Birth Control Usage.
Birth Control - Long Term Usage: Body needs at least 3-6 months off the pill and then undergo TCM fertility treatments, regulating to a normal menstrual cycle. *Acupuncture can help reduce the side effects of withdrawal due to stopping birth control medications.
Coordinating with IVF treatment: Follicle/Egg Health vs Quantity or Size, timing precise days from follicular phase to ovulation for the ultrasound screening process. Typically 2-3 days earlier than calculated ovulation release.
IVF treatments should be a last resort. There are fetal complications associated with IVF treatments because the body is not balanced beforehand. This applies to Surrogate mothers as well. (i.e. Mental retardation, Autism, Growth development issues etc...)
“Patients who are more "difficult" to manage are getting the shaft: If their FSH is a little high or their AMH low, they are turned away from IVF; If they do not produce at least 4-5 follicles, their cycles are canceled; If, God forbid, they are above age 42-43, forget it! Some fertility centers, unfortunately, exclude these patients—at least partially—in order to maintain their high IVF success rates.” (www.centerforhumanreprod.com)
Successful implantation requires a healthy, euploid embryo, a receptive endometrium, and proper synchronization. Among assisted reproductive technologies, IVF offers the highest chance to achieve a pregnancy. Yet IVF success rates are far from perfect. Even a single failed cycle can be stressful, but repetitive implantation failure is frustrating for both patients and providers. Diagnosing and treating a potentially curable condition such as endometritis can turn failure into success.
Infertility: TCM, Herbal Formulas & IVF
Cost Comparisons (Approximations)
TCM Costs: Acupuncture 3-6 month treatments $60-$100 per session,
following 1 tx per week (approx. range $720-$2,400 total).
Insurance only covers acupuncture treatments for Pain, (i.e. pain - dysmenorrhea, pelvic pain, pain from cysts or fibroids, endometriosis, headaches, low back pain etc and nausea/vomit during pregnancy).
Acupuncture Infertility sessions are not covered.
Herbal Formulas: 3-6 months pills or granules (approx range $120-$3,360)
Herbs are not covered by insurance.
IVF Costs: Lower success rates coupled with high program costs $6k (Low-Intensity IVF Program), $14k (Donor Egg Program) & $40k (Multiple IVF Cycle Program)
Some Insurance plans cover 1-2 IVF programs, yet most do not and require large personal bank loans.
Surrogate Programs cost more to support, ranging from $90k-$130k per woman.