Dr. Maryam Mahanian, DTCM, RAc
Increase IVF Success (In Vitro Fertilization)
How Acupuncture Will Increase Your IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Success
Audio Broadcast of the article is available below:
Why you should seek Chinese medicine / acupuncture leading up to and during your IVF cycle
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) helps prepare your body for the IVF process and also supports you during the IVF process.
TCM includes acupuncture, fertility diet & lifestyle recommendations and/or customized Chinese herbal medicine. TCM can complement and enhance the success of IVF.
It is recommended to receive acupuncture & Chinese medicine for at least three months (six months is even better) prior to your IVF cycle. But don’t worry if you have already begun the IVF process as it can support your throughout the IVF cycle to improve outcomes.
Here are the main objectives of Chinese medicine and acupuncture used with IVF in order to increase your IVF success:
Improve the function of the ovaries
Improved egg quality
Thickened healthier uterine lining
Increased pelvic blood flow
Improve semen quality and quantity for the male partner
Reduction of stress and anxiety
Help ovaries respond better to stimulating drugs
Support implantation of the embryo(s)
Treat underlying gynecological disorders
Improve the Function of the Ovaries
TCM treatment allows for better quality eggs and strong healthy embryos. It 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.
TCM will help the ovaries respond better to the stimulating drugs by producing more follicles and good quality eggs. TCM has shown, according to research, that it can actually help to double the amount of follicles and to significantly enhance the embryo’s quality and quantity.
High FSH levels indicates low ovarian function. Chinese medicine can actually lower FSH levels. It does this by regulating the hormones and the function of the ovaries. FSH levels 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 anxiety & stress, improving quality of sleep and bringing the body into a relaxed parasympathetic state. Reduction of stress allows for better blood circulation and nourishment to the reproductive organs.
Relaxing the patient with acupuncture or acupressure will also reduce uterine contractions. This can support implantation and help in preventing miscarriage.
Improve Sperm Health for the Male Partner
It takes two to make a baby. According to research, sperm health has been on a rapid decline since the 1970’s – sperm counts have more than halved – and this rate is continuing to decline.
One of the best things that the male partner can do is to seek out acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. This improves sperm health, vitality and the overall health of the male partner.
Dr. Maryam guides her patients with dietary recommendations, proper supplements, customized Chinese herbal medicine, and administers weekly acupuncture for best results. Book an appointment or reach out to Dr. Maryam anytime.
Dr. Maryam also offers a Male Infertility Self-Treatment course for those who cannot see her at her in-person clinic. This is an excellent resource of self-acupressure how-to tutorials, and customized diet and lifestyle recommendations all from the lens of Traditional Chinese medicine. Participants will learn which fertility type they fall into and exactly what steps to take to improve their fertility.
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 (vital energy) 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 my Guide called Pregnancy & Postpartum Care Program to learn how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help throughout various stages in your pregnancy and postpartum time.
IVF With Confidence Online Course
Dr. Maryam offers a self-paced online self-treatment course called IVF With Confidence. Whether you see Dr. Maryam for in-person acupuncture, or if you are not from the local area, this online course will help to increase the success of your IVF cycle. It consists of how-to self-acupressure tutorials/videos, detailed dietary and lifestyle recommendations, and pdf printables all according to each specific phase of your IVF process. This course guides you during your IVF cycle starting from the oral contraceptive phase and all the way to the “two week wait” after your embryo transfer. It gives you the knowledge and awareness of what is happening at each phase of the IVF process from a western and eastern medical perspective.
This online course will give you detailed instruction on what you can do between acupuncture visits. It is also a great resource for those who do not have access to acupuncture treatment. This course offers tools and strategies all based on the wisdom of Chinese medicine.
Intrigued? Visit this page for more information on IVF With Confidence and feel free to reach out to Dr. Maryam with questions. You can also find an introductory video below.