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After undergoing 6 in-vitro fertilization attempts and one painful miscarriage, Celine Dion is finally pregnant with twins. What did she do differently this time? Acupuncture. Acupuncture? How can acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) really help with the success of IVF and getting pregnant?
Acupuncture and TCM are extremely effective for those wishing to become pregnant naturally or with ART (assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF). More and more eastern and western medical doctors are joining forces to help their patients achieve optimal health as well as a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Patients can prepare for the IVF process by optimizing their reproductive health using general principles of TCM. This is ideally done 3 months prior the IVF procedure, however any amount of time will be helpful. TCM can regulate hormones and lower elevated FSH levels, increase ovarian function and the quality of eggs produced, reduce the side effects of hormone treatments, increase blood flow to the endometrial lining and thereby enhance the chances of a successful implantation. Acupuncture and TCM are also helpful with the stress and emotional components that arise when trying to conceive.
One of the most important and popular implementations of TCM during an IVF treatment is what is commonly referred to as Pre and Post Transfer Treatments. The chances of conception increase when reproductive specific Acupuncture is administered prior to and shortly after the embryo is transfered to the uterus during an IVF treatment. Post-transfer treatments can be done even the following day. A recent German study showed that conception rates increased to 51% when acupuncture is administered before and after transfers, as compared to only 36% when transfers are done without acupuncture. Given the financial and emotional investment of an IVF treatment, TCM is a highly effective tool explore as an option when undergoing IVF.
To find a Licensed Acupuncturist that specializes in reproductive medicine, check out the aborm.org.