If you’ve decided to start Acupuncture to help you to conceive, when do you have it and how many times? I get asked these questions a lot by couples trying to conceive. Let’s take a look at some good strategies about making your Acupuncture appointments.Let me start by saying, each couples case is unique. It depends if your starting your Fertility Journey with a pre-existing condition such as PCOS or Endometriosis, or not, as to the frequency of your Acupuncture treatments. I’ll share with you my suggestions as a foundation to add or subtract treatments to. This is meant as a guide only, please see your Registered or Licensed Acupuncturist to speak in more depth about your needs and strategy.
Here’s what Acupuncture can assist:
- Cycle regulation (Hormone Balancing)
- Assist Egg Quality, Sperm Quality
- Managing symptoms of pain
- Managing PMS
- Moderating Stress, Calming the nervous system, the mind
Here’s what Acupuncture does not claim to do:
- “Get you pregnant.”, “Make you pregnant.”
- Replace IVF, Be IVF or interfere with IVF.
- Replace Medical advice, Medical intervention or
- Be the only way to assist conception
Instead there are several strategies in using Acupuncture for Fertility:
- Preparation for IVF – Acupuncture is a great adjunct to IVF if you want to include it in your Fertility plan. I’ve written about how it can work with IVF here, here and here.
- IVF Embryo Transfer – There are specific Acupuncture protocols for Embryo Transfer, I’ve written about them here and here.
- Preparation for conception – If you have no pre-existing conditions but want to prepare your body for conception using Acupuncture to work with your cycle’s rhythm and optimise hormones.
- Cycle Regulation – If you have an irregular cycle and need to smooth out the bumps in the road first before Trying to conceive.
- Watchful Waiting – During IVF or after ovulation for those nerve-racking times when you’re not sure if you’re pregnant or not. Stress management is so very important at these times as it has been shown to affect implantation. And then if you have a positive pregnancy test, those early weeks. I’ve written about Safe Acupuncture practices in early weeks of Pregnancy here.
Guidelines for Acupuncture Appointments during IVF
All suggestions are optional.
- Preparation before an IVF cycle starts
- Preparation within an IVF cycle, before your egg collection appointment
- Watchful Waiting phases to moderate Stress:
- after egg collection / around time of receiving results about fertilisation,
- around time of receiving results about embryo progression,
- before Embryo Transfer,
- after Embryo Transfer,
- after successful conception (Positive Pregnancy Test)
- Taking breaks from IVF to work on egg quality and nourishment
Guidelines for Acupuncture Appointments if conceiving Naturally
All suggestions are optional.
- Preparation well before you’re ready to actively try to conceive – weekly or fortnightly as you like to focus on nourishment. Out of all treatment strategies, Nourishment takes more time to build up, so I would add Chinese Herbs, Plus this Chicken Bone Broth.
- For Egg Quality: 1 Treatment between days 1-4 and then another closer to ovulation + Chinese Herbs
- For Cycle Regulation:
- Knowing your cycle dates isn’t always necessary, especially for women with a longer cycle (PCOS), or no period at all (Amenorrhoea). Starting is better than no Treatment can still be applied weekly to help the body ovulate and regulate the cycle. Once you have your period, you have a benchmark and can work with that to strategically book appointments at the following key times in your cycle.
- If Ovulation is the issue: 1 Treatment between days 1-4 and then another closer to ovulation +/- Chinese Herbs
- If Luteal Phase is a concern: 1-2 treatments after ovulation (before period) +/- Chinese Herbs
- If PMS is a concern: 1-2 treatments before period +/- Chinese Herbs
- If bad period pain: 1 treatment before period, 1 treatment between days 1-4 +/- Chinese Herbs
- Watchful Waiting:
- Between ovulation & Period due date
- After successful conception (Positive Pregnancy Test)
- Taking breaks from TTC
These are some of the key times in IVF cycles and your period cycles to book your Acupuncture appointments. Your Registered Acupuncturist will determine what your TCM Diagnosis is and use Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine to apply Treatment strategies. The aim is always to work with your body, not against it. Supporting the body’s natural processes such as ovulation and menses is a big part of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s strategies, as we want to assist you to conceive. Or as an adjunct to IVF. There’s a lot that TCM can do to help as we’ve mentioned here, including nourishment, cycle regulation and moderating stress. To find out what you need, speak to your Registered Acupuncturist or email me here on email@example.com