Using Acupuncture Before Starting IVF

Many women (and couples) in the Toronto area are seeking the benefits of acupuncture treatments before starting IVF treatments. When you have been having difficulties conceiving and find yourself embarking on in-vitro fertilization as a viable option, you want to do everything you can to help boost your success rates. Considering the expense associated fertility treatments, it’s worth learning about options such as acupuncture to help improve your odds to become pregnant before you even begin IVF treatments. There are several benefits we will highlight in this article.

The development of an egg is 90 to 120 days from a dormant germ cell to an ovulating egg. I liken it to planting a seed. We need to water, fertilize, weed, and cultivate the soil, thereby creating fertile conditions for a seed to blossom into a beautiful flower. Acupuncture improves blood flow to the reproductive organs including the uterus and ovaries . Better blood flow means a more nourishing environment to optimize egg maturation. As such, egg quality may possibly improve as acupuncture increases cellular energy and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which fuels normal and healthy cell division.

There is a reality that stress ensues when you are focused on conceiving, regardless of whether you are trying to become pregnant the traditional way, or through fertility treatments. In fact, research has shown that the level of stress you experience undergoing IVF treatment is comparable to one facing cancer or heart disease. Acupuncture has been shown to increase resilience and help down- regulate the sympathetic nervous system, decreasing the stress response mitigating feelings of anxiety and depression if you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for months or even longer. Acupuncture promotes the release of your body’s natural pain killers, known as endorphins. Stress and anxiety are greatly reduced so you feel calm, relaxed, and more in control.

Women who choose to undergo IVF do so because of many reasons such as endometriosis, PCOS, advanced maternal age, and unexplained infertility. Some women experience irregular menstrual cycles which has made it difficult or impossible to conceive naturally. Hormone imbalances often contribute to irregular menstrual cycles, and acupuncture works to balance hormones which helps regulate menstrual cycles. Additionally, by “down regulating” the nervous system, blood flow to the uterus increases which may thicken the uterine lining, making it more receptive to embryo implantation. This also helps prevent or reduce uterine contractions.

Many men experience signs or symptoms they consider normal, but that may impact fertility. These include low testosterone levels, occasional erectile dysfunction (ED), or difficulty ejaculating. Low sperm volume is another concern, however acupuncture may help with these issues. As like women, it works to reduce stress, balance hormones, and improve sperm quality/motility.

Acupuncture is helpful at any point for those who choose to go the IVF route, whether you are in the middle of taking stimulation drugs or waiting for your IVF cycle to begin. Folliculogenesis (the maturation of the ovarian follicle) takes three to six months for the egg to develop from a germ cell to an ovulating egg. If possible, the beginning of this growth period is the best time to begin acupuncture treatment to boost IVF success rates!

Having acupuncture before starting IVF will boost your chances of conceiving, but it’s never too early or late to start “juicing up” your eggs regardless of where you are on your fertility journey. We invite those in Toronto to contact us now to learn more.