If you’re considering undergoing IVF to get pregnant, you’ll also want to consider Chinese Medicine (this includes acupuncture, diet & lifestyle recommendations and/or Chinese herbs) at the same time. Chinese medicine can complement and enhance the successes of the IVF cycles.
During the 3 months prior to an IVF cycle, it’s strongly recommended to receive acupuncture & Chinese medicine. What can acupuncture & Chinese medicine do for you during this time? It regulates the body’s functions and makes your IVF cycle more successful!
IVF is an expensive difficult journey for many. If there’s something you can do it increase your chances of success of your IVF cycle, wouldn’t you do it?
There’s absolutely no harm (no side effects) in seeking Chinese medical treatment prior to your IVF cycle. There are two potential (positive) outcomes. One is that you will greatly increase your chance of success with the IVF cycle and the other is that you may in the end not even need to undergo your IVF cycle because you will already be pregnant! Okay lets make it three outcomes…the third is that you will feel stronger, healthier and more emotionally stable.
These are the main objections of Chinese medicine in the three months prior to an IVF cycle:
Improve the function of the ovaries
• Allows for better quality eggs and strong healthy embryos.
• Regulates estrogen and progesterone levels to thicken the uterine lining for better chance of implantation.
Research shows that increased blood flow, which is essentially what acupuncture/Chinese medicine does, can promote follicular development and increased chance of implantation.
Chinese medicine will help the ovaries respond better to the stimulating drugs by producing more follicles and good quality eggs. Chinese medicine (remember that Chinese medicine refers to acupuncture as well) has shown in research that it can actually help to double the amount of follicles and to significantly enhance the embryo’s quality and quantity.
High FSH indicates low ovarian function. Chinese medicine can actually lower FSH. It does this by regulating the hormones and the function of the ovaries. FSH should ideally be under 10.
Many people undergoing IVF are experiencing high levels of stress. Chinese medicine’s so helpful for calming the nervous system & reducing stress.
Relaxing the patient will reduce uterine contractions thereby improving the implantation process and preventing miscarriage.
Improve semen quality and quantity for the male partner
It takes 70-90 days for sperm to mature. It’s so helpful for the male partner to receive treatment during the three months prior to an IVF cycle.
If the quality and quantity of the semen is adequate, then the health of the embryo improves and there is less chance of miscarriage.
Chinese medicine is excellent at treating many Gynecological disorders that can contribute to Infertility. These would include irregular or no menstruation, endometriosis, fibroids and cysts.
These disorders can be addressed & resolved in those three months prior to IVF.
Now that you know why Chinese medicine is so helpful prior to undergoing an IVF cycle, lets talk about how Chinese medicine can help during the IVF cycle.
Start oral contraceptives
• This is the first stage of the IVF cycle.
• Oral contraceptives are taken one month prior to the IVF procedure to allow ovaries to rest and to regulate the hormones.
• During this time, you’re supported with Chinese medicine to balance the liver, spleen and kidney systems (as all three are involved in reproduction) and to calm and relax your nervous system.
Stimulation of Ovaries
• Two or three days after the menstrual cycle begins, the ovaries are stimulated with drugs. These drugs function like FSH and LH in order to produce more follicles.
• At the same time, Chinese medicine is used to produce more follicles and thicken the lining of the uterus to prepare for the transfer of embryos. In Chinese medicine terms, we’re supporting the kidney and spleen systems, nourishing the blood and calming the spirit.
• Chinese medicine also reduces the side effects of the IVF drugs.
Before Embryo Transfer
• Chinese medicine is especially important at this stage!
• It can help slightly dilate the cervical opening in order to more easily transfer the embryo into the uterus.
• It calms the patient, thereby relaxing the uterus.
• When the embryo transfer is being performed, the patient is less likely to experience cramping and uterine contractions, thus helping the embryo implantation.
• It helps strengthen the Qi to hold the embryo.
After Embryo Transfer
• At this stage it’s important to assist blood circulation in the uterus, maintain implantation of the embryo and nourish embryo growth.
• It’s also important to relax the uterus to prevent any uterine contractions that would cause bleeding & miscarriage.
When a positive pregnancy has been achieved, Chinese medicine is vital during your first trimester in order to prevent miscarriage. You can take a look at how acupuncture/Chinese medicine can help throughout various stages in your pregnancy & postpartum time here.
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck in your fertility journey.
With Love & Support,