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Acupuncture for Fertility

We offer men and women a natural alternative to enhance fertility without side effects and in a comfortable atmosphere. We are trained to treat infertility and have an excellent success rate helping couples become pregnant.

We do offer programs for couples who want to conceive naturally before they start in vitro fertilization (IVF) or if they have exhausted the IVF route. We understand the need for alternative medical treatment alone or in combination with IVF treatment. We customize our treatment plans in order to address each person's unique constitution.

As traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, we're trained to listen to concerns, take a complete medical history, and pay special attention to how the entire body - as a unit - is functioning. This "whole body" or holistic approach is the foundation of the practice of acupuncture.

Acupuncture, Fertility, and IVF

Acupuncture can be used to enhance fertility health. It can also be used in conjunction with IVF, IUI, and other fertility treatments. Research shows that acupuncture can increase the body's ability to cope with stress, and increase the blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, thereby increasing the ability to conceive. Acupuncture creates an optimal environment in order to enhance your own natural fertility and ability to conceive.

Having difficulty conceiving or being told you have fertility issues is not something any couple wants, and the decision to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) is not a step anyone takes lightly. The process is often gruelling, requires a lengthy commitment, and usually follows years of frustration and grief. There is good news, though. There are steps you can take to make the experience more pleasant, less stressful, and more successful.

Acupuncture is a great alternative for both women and men seeking to enhance their ability to successfully conceive. It can be used alone or in conjunction with ART (assisted reproductive techniques) including IVF, ICSI, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and other fertility treatments.

Fertility acupuncture treatments help balance the body's natural hormone levels. They also reduce feelings of stress and optimize reproductive health.

Acupuncture and IVF

When acupuncture and IVF are used in combination, the chances of conceiving may increase 40% compared to using IVF alone (Lifang Liang, OMD, PhD, L.Ac.). Based on clinical experience, when acupuncture is used for infertility just one day before and one day after an IVF transfer, the chances of conceiving can increase to up to 60% (Liang).

Clinical trials and research from around the world show that acupuncture can increase IVF pregnancy rates and reduce anxiety related to infertility and the IVF process. We recommend women receive acupuncture treatments about three months before an IVF procedure. This helps regulate the body's functions and increase the procedure's success rate.

While men do play less of an active role in IVF procedures, the sperm is just as important as the egg. Acupuncture is very effective in increasing sperm quality including morphology and motility. This is something Western medicine is not able to do.

Acupuncture and ART

Acupuncture, used in combination with Western medical assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) such as Clomid, IVF, intracytopasmic sperm injection (ICSI), or IUI, is extremely effective. Recent research shows that having an acupuncture treatment within one day of the embryo transfer can increase your conception rate by up to 60%. This may be because acupuncture increases blood flow to the reproductive organs, improving a woman's ovarian response and enhancing uterine receptivity.

While acupuncture is a safe, natural, and reliable form of healthcare, successful fertilization also depends on adequate rest, a suitable diet, and emotional well-being. Our fertility acupuncture treatment plan may include dietary and nutritional counselling, lifestyle changes, exercise programs, and herbal medicine.

Acupuncture On or Around the Day of Embryo Transfer

If you're undergoing IVF and are waiting for your menstrual cycle to start, this is the perfect time to create a good atmosphere for implantation. You can do this through active stress reduction, a proper diet, exercise, and scheduled acupuncture treatments. The more balanced and healthier your body is, the better the quality of your sperm and egg. One or two treatments before or after the embryo transfer.

Acupuncture Starting at Any Phase of the IVF Cycle

This is a good program if you've already started your cycle and you would like to mitigate side effects from any drugs you're taking and decrease your stress levels. You may feel less fatigued, less bloated, and happier, too! One to two treatments per week as needed.

Acupuncture for Frozen Embryo Transfer

Acupuncture for frozen embryo transfer is shown to increase blood flow to the uterus and improve implantation and pregnancy rates. Two treatments per week for four weeks before the embryo transfer, plus one treatment on the day of the transfer.

Acupuncture Before and During the Medication Phase of IVF

Acupuncture before and during IVF increases the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. It also can regulate fertility hormones that can contribute to follicular development and increased implantation. Two treatments per week for four weeks before egg retrieval plus one treatment at the time of transfer.

Acupuncture for Men

This is a good program to increase sperm motility and mobility, reduce anxiety, and increase blood flow to the genital area. Two treatments per week in the six weeks prior to IVF.

Natural Conception

The idea behind pre-conception acupuncture treatment is "to cultivate and nourish the soil before you plant the seed". (Dr. Randine Lewis)

Therefore, our main objectives are to:

• Improve ovarian function by improving blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
• Increase response to hormonal stimulation
• Strengthen the immune system
• Decrease and alleviate side effects from fertility medication
• Improve semen quality and quantity
• Facilitate positive diet and lifestyle
• Reduce stress and initiate relaxation

We strive to enable women to understand their bodies, and read the signs and symptoms with regard to ovulation and fertility. That's why our natural conception treatment plan may include learning how to observe and chart your basal body temperature (BBT) and adjust your diet accordingly. Our fertility acupuncture treatment plan may also include dietary and nutritional counselling, lifestyle changes, exercise programs, and herbal medicine.

Acupuncture treatments should start three months - or for three menstrual cycles - before trying to conceive. Treatments are given one time per week during this time. The idea is to balance the body during each phase of the menstrual cycle in order to achieve an optimal environment, a balanced mind and a strong body.

Women who try to conceive without optimal balance have a lesser chance to conceive. Women who start a pregnancy with an imbalance tend to experience a more uncomfortable pregnancy with a greater chance of pregnancy-related health issues. One treatment per week for three menstrual cycles.

Massage for Pre-Conception

Regular massage is beneficial for both men and women planning to conceive. Research indicates by decreasing the body's levels of stress hormones and increasing circulation, massage can improve function of all the body's organs to improve the ability to naturally conceive.

Massage helps to rid the body of toxin build up and breaks down adhesions and scar tissue that could be the root of some fertility issues. In combination with acupuncture for fertility, massage can significantly increase your own natural fertility and improve the success rate of couples that are planning a pregnancy. We recommend one treatment per week for the two weeks prior to ovulation for three menstrual cycles.

Massage for Induction

For woman past their due dates or those with a planned medical induction massage can increase the hormones that enable the body to naturally begin the laboring process. Combining both relaxation massages, acupressure, and shiatsu techniques, massage for induction can significantly shorten the time between the due date and delivery time. After the treatment, clients are given instruction on how to self administer acupressure points to further stimulate the induction process and shorten labor times once labor has begun.

For more information on fertility health, please visit the Whole Family Health website at www.wholefamilyhealth.ca.
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