Liz Richards began using Traditional Chinese Medicine to support patients undergoing IVF in 2002, around the same time research studies reported that receiving treatment on the day of embryo transfer can increase the pregnancy rate by 50 percent.
Embryo transfer day is crucial in IVF, which generally results in mixed emotions for patients, including excitement, anxiety, fear and stress. Research indicates that increased stress levels lead to a lower number of fertilized eggs, successful pregnancies and live births.
Protocol for this process includes two acupuncture treatments- one immediately preceding the embryo transfer and one upon completion. This treatment stimulates the autonomic nervous system. From an energetic viewpoint, it also relaxes the muscles of the uterus, calms the mind, and increases the flow of Qi, or energy, in the uterus.
On the day of the transfer I meet my patient at the fertility clinic 45 minutes before the scheduled embryo transfer time. Fertility clinics in Portland are familiar with this protocol and are welcoming to acupuncturists.
Overall, treatment for this process should begin at least one month before starting injections, although most patients begin at least three months before the planned IVF cycle. Additional time provides patients with more comprehensive care including herbal therapy, nutritional support and massage.
Research presented in the July 2005 issue of Fertility and Sterility reported that acupuncture can improve sperm quality in men. Early treatment supports the complete cycle of spermatogenesis, which generally takes 72 days.
Acupuncture and herbal therapy can also:
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and
- Increases circulation in the pelvis
- Stimulate endorphins
- Regulate hormones
- Stimulate follicular development
- Help thicken uterine lining
We have two acupuncturists available for acupuncture on the day of Embryo Transfer and we will work hard to help you find someone if one of us is not available. Please visit our schedule button to see if Sita is available for your Embryo Transfer or call us at 5032870886