Using acupuncture alongside IVF is becoming quite common, and there has been a great deal of research on this topic in the past few years which indicates that acupuncture increases the chances of a successful IVF cycle by 40-50%.
Beginning before the IVF cycle and continuing through to childbirth where necessary, acupuncture improves ovarian function, leading to larger numbers of better quality eggs, regulates the hormonal system, nourishes the uterus and foetus to help prevent miscarriage, and reduces stress and anxiety.
The treatment works in two ways – by following along with the IVF process to enhance each stage of the procedure, and also by helping you to deal with any side effects of the drugs, and by reducing stress and helping with any other health problems that occur along the way.
So, as well as the increased chance of a successful IVF cycle and subsequent birth, women who have acupuncture treatment also feel happier, more positive and more relaxed during the process. In my practice, women tell me that they have greatly enjoyed the acupuncture, and found that it has really helped them through what is normally a very stressful time.
Acupuncture treatment should normally be weekly throughout the IVF process, and ideally should start slightly before you start the IVF. For women who are needle-phobic it is also possible to use acupressure and tui na techniques during IVF in a similar way to acupuncture.
More details of my own practice, here: Bristol and S.Wales Acupuncture