One question that often arises at ilumina is how often to get acupuncture when going through an IVF cycle. The answer is simple and complex. Here is my general recommendation if you are starting an IVF cycle and the goal is to promote ovarian response, optimize hormones, and increase the quantity and quality of the the uterine lining. Please note that if pathological hyperstimulation/ OHSS occurs acupuncture is an excellent treatment and can often "save" the cycle.
- Ovarian Suppression phase- (around 4-6 weeks before egg retrieval) Acupuncture 2x per week
- Ovarian Stimulation phase- (around 2 weeks before egg retrieval) Acupuncture 2-3x per week
- One treatment between egg retrieval and embryo transfer
- Acupuncture 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after embryo transfer (this is performed at the REI office by an ilumina practitioner)
- One treatment 3-5 days after embryo transfer
- Then once a week afterwords, if pregnant acupuncture once a week through the first trimester
For advance maternal age, poor ovarian response, elevated FSH, poor embryo quality or male factor infertility I would recommend a much more extensive treatment plan for 3-6 months before IVF which would include: acupuncture, individualized Chinese herbal formulas, vitamins and supplements, diet and exercise and meditation. For more information on how and why Chinese medicine is so effective for IVF preparation please see the book Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month program for Maximum Fertility. If you are looking for an acupuncturist in your area to support your IVF cycle please see the website for the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine's website. This professional organization credentials acupuncturists in reproductive medicine. If you are interested in the research that shows the efficacy and mechanism of action for acupuncture and IVF please see the comprehensive review of research put together by my friend and colleague Diane Cridennda L.Ac.For over 10 years ilumina Healing Sanctuary's practitioners have been treating male and female infertility and attending IVF embryo transfers. We have experience and trusted relationships with all of the fertility clinics in the greater Phoenix area. We look forward to working with you on your journey to parenthood.Dana Price DOM, L.Ac., Dipl.OM, FABORMilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602