What Causes infertility?
- Infertility due to Ovulation Factors
- Infertility due to Fallopian Tube Factors (partial tube blockage)
- Infertility due to Immunological Factors (NK cells, anti sperm antibody)
- Infertility due to Cervical (cervical mucus hostility factor, Postcoital Test Abnormal)
- Infertility due to Uterine Factors (such as fibroids)
- Infertility due to Premature Ovarian Failure POF
- Infertility due to Elevated FSH, High FSH (level > 10 on day 3)
- Infertility due to Elevated Estradiol, High Estradiol (E2) (level>50 on day 3)
- Infertility due to Poor egg quality, poor ovarian reserve.
- Infertility due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS (LH/FSH ratio is abnormal, high testosterone levels, irregular menses)
- Infertility due to Luteal Phase Defect LPD
- Infertility due to Thyroid Factors (Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroglobin Antibodies abnormal, Thyroxine Peroxidase Antibodies abnormal)
- Infertility due to Prolactin (PRL) abnormal.
- Infertility due to Frequency miscarriage
- Frequent failure of IVF and IUI
- Frequent Chemical Pregnancy
- Infertility due to Blood Clotting Issue
- Infertility due to MTHFR Mutations positive
- Infertility due to Endometriosis
- Infertility due to Thin and unresponsive Endometrium
- Infertility due to Amenorrhea
- Irregular and Annovulatory Menstrual Cycles
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease PID
- Infertility due to Stress
- Unexplained Infertility
How Acupuncture Works:
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
- Thicken the endometrial lining
- Help produce more follicles
- Improves egg (ova) quality
- Reduces High FSH and High E2
- Reduces High Prolactin
- Reduces the chance of miscarriage
- Regulates and stabilize hormone levels
- Balances immune function
- Regulates Thyroid Hormone levels
- Stress relief, energy improvement, controls weight
- Improves the outcome of ART procedures, increase the success rate of IVF/IUI
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been successfully used to treat infertility for several thousand years with no side-effect in China. I have been becoming more and more popular in the western world in this decade.
| Reference Articles:
(1.) Paulus We etal. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril. 2002;77(4) 721-724.
(2.) Dieterles etal. Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril. 2006; 85(5) 1347-1351
(3) Westergaard LG etal. Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women. Fertil Steril 2006; 85(5) 1341-1346
(4.) Stener-Victorin E. etal. A prospective randomized study of electro-acupuncture vs alfentanil as anaesthesia during oocyte aspiration in in-vitro fertilization. Hum Reprod. 1999;14(10) 2480-2484
1. Do I need acupuncture only before Embryos Transfer (ET) and after the transfer?
According to the research protocols stated above, a 25 minute acupuncture treatment, right before ET and after ET, increases the chance of a successful pregnancy. Acupuncture helps blood flow to the uterus during ET and release stress, so that it will help the implantation of the embryos. If this is your first IVF/IUI cycle, it is recommended to start acupuncture 8 to 10 sessions before the embryos transfer. Failure of previous IVF/IUI cycle means there could be some disorders going on in the body and it needs longer time to be balanced. In this situation, you might need an average of 20 to 30 sessions of acupuncture before starting the IVF/IUI cycle.
Results that I have obtained in my 23 years+ of practice in the field of acupuncture for OB/GYN/Fertility has shown me that in order to prepare and balance the hormones, it is advisable for patients who have complicated conditions, to start acupuncture two or three months before IVF/IUF. Some of these disorders include:
- Failed the previous IVF/IUI cycle
- High FSH
- Luteal phase defect
- Poor egg quality
- Thyroid problem
- Unexplained infertility issues
- Immunological factors.
Acupuncture should be done befor IUI and ET:
*Before (2 to 3 months prior to cycle) – to improve egg quality and regulate hormones, increase the number of follicles, thicken uterus lining, and improve your overall health and well-being. For men, acupuncture is able to strenghten semen, impove semen quality and quantity.
*During – to increase the amount of blood in the uterus, improve the quality of the uterine environment by relaxing uterine muscles, release stress, and give embryos a good environment.
*After (once pregnant) – to prevent miscarriages and minimizes morning sickness in the first trimester.
2. When should I start acupuncture treatment for IVF/IUI support?
If you are scheduled to start the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) of IVF/IUI, it is recomended that you come for acupuncture as soon as possible.
3. How often should I have acupuncture treatments for my Infertility?
If an IVF/IUI cycle is scheduled within one month, treatment is recommended 2 times per week, or, 8 to 10 sessions before transfer. If you have planned to do IVF/ IUI 3 or 4 months in advance, you can do acupuncture 2 times per week before ovulation, then once per week after ovulation. In this way, acupuncture will help to improve your egg quality and thicken the uterine lining. Of course, more treatment will increase the benefit. Lots of my patients have naturally conceived before IVF/IUI started.
4. What should I expect from the first visit?
During the first visit, Dr. Zhao will take a detailed medical history related to infertility, including;
- Review the details of your menstrual cycle and blood flow during menstruation
- Review your BBT chart
- HSG result
- Day 3 of blood work if it’s available
- Understanding your purpose for having acupuncture (such as if it is for natural conceive or IVF/IUI support)
- Review your previous IVF/IUI result if it’s available
- Review your partner sperm analysis if it’s possible
- Examine your whole system