In my practice I provide acupuncture treatment, Chinese herbal medicine and homeopathy for IVF support before an embryo transfer, and after an embryo transfer for all embryo types, and cycle types. The IVF support program is very helpful when using frozen embryos, donor eggs, stimulated cycles, non-stimulated cycles. Acupuncture helps maintain the pregnancy after the embryo has been implanted. Most female patients are not normally ready to have IVF treatment; this is possibly why there are so many cycle failures and miscarriages.
I normally recommend 6 weeks of preparation treatment before entering an IVF cycle. During the preparation period some pregnancies occur naturally, many women have a good chance of success the first time when using the IVF procedure along with a good IVF support program. This preparation involves taking Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathic remedies and receiving acupuncture. After the preparation period acupuncture and sometimes homeopathy are used as IVF support. This preparation increases the blood flow into the pelvis and reproductive system, improve general physical health, hormonal stability, it is also very useful to prevent a build up of stress, worries and anxiety before the IVF cycle begin. Women who go through this preparation can expect good follicle size and number, good egg quality; it greatly lessens the risk of IVF failure. During IFV cycle, some clear changes can be seen on scans after acupuncture: more follicules improved lining, good blood flow to ovaries. Preparation is not only for women. IVF preparation using acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for men during the ICSI treatment reduces DNA fragmentation, reduces deformities of the sperm, increases the sperm count, quality and motility; the treatment of men with low sperm count should start at least 3 month before the start of IVF cycle.
“A large number of patients who have tried IVF several times and were unsuccessful have soon become pregnant after Chinese medicine treatments. In clinical observation, the ultrasound shows that, after acupuncture, the color of women’s ovaries change from cloudy to bright and clear. The follicles usually double in number, the lining of the uterus becomes thicker, and the number of embryos increases significantly. Patients experience less side effects from the Western drugs and feel more at ease and happy. For male patients, it is my experience that the semen quality significantly improves and the sperm number greatly increases. In brief, Chinese medicine can help to improve the success rate of IVF in a number of ways: 1. Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs 2. Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles 3. Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining 4. Relax the patient and decrease their stress 5. Prevent the uterus from contracting 6. Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF 7. Strengthen the immune system 8. Improve semen to create better quality and quantity of embryos 9. Decrease chances of miscarriage”
Dr. Lifang Liang O.M.D., Ph.D., L.Ac.
It is important to treat for at least 3 months to properly regulate the menstrual cycle, balance hormonal activity, improve blood flow and to benefit egg quality. Women's follicles are recruited over 3-5 months before being chosen for ovulation; therefore, the quality of your eggs in any given cycle are actually determined during the 3-5 months before that cycle. This is why it is recommended to allow enough time during the preconception phase to nourish and prepare for conception. You need to allow for at least three months for your treatments and healthier life style habits to take affect.
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Pj Cousin is a full member of the British Acupuncture Council and of the Unified Register of herbal Practitioners