I will be undergoing IVF. When should I start acupuncture?
Some patients respond to acupuncture very quickly, but many patients require a series of ongoing treatments over a few months up to a year. The recommended treatment schedule is based on consideration of a variety of factors in each individual situation. In many cases, we recommend that you start acupuncture treatment at least three months prior to the start of the IVF cycle. However, any amount of acupuncture is helpful when going through IVF; it can increase your chances of success, both in conception and maintenance of your pregnancy.
How exactly does acupuncture influence the female reproductive system?
There have been many studies on how acupuncture has helped couples conceive. Acupuncture has been reported to promote the circulation of blood in the pelvic cavity and improve ovarian function. Acupuncture treatment may be beneficial in promoting follicle production, enhancing uterine blood flow, and improving uterine lining thickness.
My FSH is too high. Does acupuncture correct hormonal imbalances?
An increasing number of women are visiting acupuncture clinics to seek help in correcting imbalances in their hormones (FSH, LH, E2, progesterone, etc.). Regular acupuncture treatments can be very helpful in regulating hormonal imbalances; however, acupuncture does not directly alter the female hormones. Rather, acupuncture is considered to influence the hormonal regulation centers in the brain and autonomic nervous system (i.e., the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis), and as a result, improvement in hormonal status can occur over time.
What types of infertility can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can treat many infertility problems, such as: Elevated FSH, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, Male Factor Issues, Cervical and Ovulation Issues, Uterine Fibroids, Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), Immune Issues, Luteal Phase Defect, Recurrent Miscarriage, Menstrual Issues, and Thyroid Issues.
Should my husband also get Acupuncture?
If your husband has low sperm count, motility or morphology issues, then treatment is recommended. There are many studies done on the effectiveness of Chinese medicine on treating male infertility. Please see our research section.
What does the Reproductive Organ Massage feel like and what is the purpose?
Reproductive Organ Massage (ROM) is very relaxing for almost everyone. It is done through clothing or a sheet and works only with the abdominal area. There is no loss of privacy or personal space. The purpose of ROM is to improve blood flow to the organs which will make them healthier. It is possible to work with all the organs in the body directly, except for, of course, the heart and lungs. With ROM, it’s possible to thicken uterine lining, reduce fibroid size, positively influence follicles, and, for men, increase sperm mobility, motility, and overall quality.
Are there any nutritional guidelines that will be required during my treatments?
Nutritional guidelines are often suggested and encouraged. A balanced intake of organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins will help encourage overall health and enhance reproductive function. Your practitioner will go over the specific foods for your particular condition at the time of your consultation and during the first few visits.
How many treatments will I need?
The amount of treatments needed varies from person to person. Most patients notice improvement within three months.
How long does each treatment last?
The first treatment usually lasts about 45 minutes and the needles are retained from 25-35 minutes. If you are receiving reproductive organ massage and acupuncture, then you will need to allow at least one hour and 15 minutes for treatment and check out.
Are there any research articles supporting the efficacy of acupuncture on fertility?
There are many research articles and studies suggesting a positive influence of acupuncture on the female reproductive system and using acupuncture treatment in conjunction with assisted reproductive technology on difficult infertility cases. For example, a study conducted in Germany in 2002 showed that of the 80 women who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 women got pregnant, a success rate of 42.5%. Of the 80 women involved in the study who received IVF without any acupuncture treatment, only 21 women (26.3%) became pregnant.
More recently, an American study involving 114 women showed that 51% of the women who had acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant, versus only 36% of the women who had IVF alone. Deeper analysis of this study revealed that the rate of miscarriage in the acupuncture group was only 8%, versus 20% in the IVF alone group. Furthermore, women who received acupuncture also had lower rates of ectopic pregnancies. Please visit our research section for more related articles and studies.
Is there scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of acupuncture?
In fact, acupuncture has been undergoing the longest human trials in the history of medicine – 5,000 years. During this period it has been the main system of medicine for over one third of the world’s population. When a healing system has been around that long, it has to be doing something right. However, recently acupuncture has been the subject of numerous Western style scientific studies. Most of them have shown acupuncture to be both safe and effective. As a result of these studies, the National Institute of Health (NIH) wrote a position statement calling for acupuncture to be available to all Americans through their health networks and through State and Federal programs.
If aging impacts fertility, can acupuncture reverse the aging process?
There is a strong correlation between age and reproductive health. However, it is important to remember that there are two types of aging: chronological and biological. While everyone ages at the same speed chronologically, the biological aging process differs greatly among each individual. So, while it is generally true that the quality of a woman’s eggs declines as she ages, eggs of some women in their forties can be of excellent quality due to slow biological aging. It is not possible to stop chronological aging; however, we can definitely influence the progress of biological aging. Practicing a healthy lifestyle in addition to regular acupuncture treatments will have a positive impact in slowing down the aging process. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, smoking, stress, and insufficient sleep all accelerate the cell oxidation and the biological aging process.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is drug-free, avoiding side effects and dependency. Only sterile, prepackaged, single-use disposable needles are used for acupuncture, ensuring no risk of disease transmission. As with any medical technique, risks are involved. Though these risks are minimal, the most common side effect of acupuncture is a drop of blood or a small bruise at the site of the needle insertion.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a strand of hair and very rarely cause pain or discomfort. Often patients will not even be aware of the needles’ insertion or retention, and many people become so relaxed that they fall asleep during treatment.
Do I have to believe in it for it to work?
No. While having a positive state of mind helps with any type of treatment, it is not necessary to “believe” in acupuncture for it to work. This is evidenced not only through clinical study in “non-believers” but by the fact that small children who cannot be instructed to “believe” receive relief through the use of acupuncture. Additionally, veterinary acupuncturists can attest to positive results in animals through the use of acupuncture.
Does my insurance cover Acupuncture or Reproductive Massage?
Many insurance companies provide coverage for acupuncture and reproductive massage, but it is best to check with your insurance company to see exactly what your coverage is. You can always call Nurture Acupuncture and they can check your coverage for you and if you have coverage they will bill your insurance company directly for your services.
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. The massage should be performed by a licensed and qualified practitioner so no harm occurs to the baby or mother.
Does prenatal massage affect the baby?
Massage during pregnancy helps counteract the negative effects of stress and helps the baby to be healthy and happy. Babies, whose mothers have had pregnancy massage, tend to cry less, sleep through the night, and be happier and healthier. If a massage is beneficial to the mother, the baby will receive the benefits, too.
Can massage help with labor?
Relaxing prenatal massage eases labor, providing a peaceful space for baby’s entrance into this world. Expectant mothers learn effective ways to breathe and relax for childbirth and are taught techniques to ease the pain of labor. Labor-inducing techniques are utilized starting in the 37th week.
Would massage be beneficial post-partum (after birth)?
Studies have shown that massage post-partum helps to elevate mood and helps to heal the body and regain its shape. Specifically, abdominal massage helps shrink the uterus back into place and relieve subcutaneous scar tissue. It may be given as early as 24 hours after a vaginal delivery.