One of our specialties at Flourish Integrative Health is fertility. A new study from the UK shows that rates of success with IVF were twice as high among women who worked with acupuncture. Last week The Telegraph shared a “study by Homerton University Hospital in London, involved 160 couples suffering from fertility problems. Half were assigned to have four sessions of acupuncture during their IVF cycle. One year on, those who underwent the ancient practice, involving fine needles, had achieved pregnancy rates of 46.2 per cent. Among those who had not, pregnancy rates were just 21.7 per cent.”
At Flourish Integrative Health, we see great success with a patient’s IVF when combined with Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. I recommend that patients who are considering IVF come in for the three months prior to prepare their bodies. Then during the stimulation phase of the cycle, patients would ideally come in twice per week prior to the transfer. Around IVF transfer time, it is recommended to do treatments before (usually the night before or when possible, the day of) and after (on the same day as close to the procedure as possible.). It is also recommended to come in for Acupuncture treatments for the “waiting time” as it can help with blood flow to the uterus as well as holding the embryo.
The greatest support, in my opinion is helping the woman so that she feels supported during this time. Stuart Lavery, consultant gynecologist at Hammersmith Hospital, said “it was not clear whether acupuncture had a physiological effect on the body, or whether who underwent the sessions became more relaxed because therapists spent time listening to their problems. There is no doubt that when people are given acupuncture it can feel like an extra dimension of support. Fertility treatment is stressful and it can be quite helpful to have a therapy which relaxes them.” Of course, increasing blood flow to the uterus is wonderful, and harmonizing the body’s imbalances is important. However, helping the woman feel comfortable, peaceful and happy during such a stressful time can be just as useful.
There is more and more research helping us understand the role of stress and therefore anti-stress has on fertility, conception and healthy pregnancy. So no matter where you are on your fertility journey, let us be your support towards greater success!
Vladi Starkov is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and natural health practitioner in Sonoma County who comes from a lineage of women healers in Bulgaria. She holds extensive training in the areas of pain, women’s health, fertility, Ayurveda and psycho-spiritual emotional balance. To learn more about how Flourish Integrative Health can assist you in your journey with IVF and fertility, visit www.flourishintegrativehealth.com or call 707-205-1224.