Acupuncture is an important part of the IVF/IUI process, and is increasingly used in fertility clinics across the globe. In a benchmark study from 1996, researchers found a direct correlation between acupuncture with electrical stimulation (e-stim) and improved uterine blood flow, which improved IVF success rates. Since then, this protocol has been widely practiced across the globe. We have a close working relationship with CCRM and have successfully treated hundreds of women over the years using this protocol.
Based on that study and several others, we recommend the following treatment guidelines for women undergoing IVF:
- Suppression phase: Acupuncture (no e-stim), once per week. Focus on improving egg quality. Note: We do not prescribe herbs at any stage that you are on IVF medications.
- Stimulation phase: Acupuncture (with or without e-stim), once to twice weekly. Focus on egg development and ovarian blood flow.
- Resting phase: Acupuncture (with or without e-stim, depending on transfer date), once weekly. Herbs may be given. Focus on stress relief, hormone regulation, uterine blood flow.
- Uterine Lining Development (pre-transfer phase): Acupuncture (with e-stim), twice weekly for 4 weeks prior to frozen embryo transfer. Total 8 sessions. Herbs not given. Focus on stress relief and uterine lining development.
- Implantation support: we recommend one session 4-5 days post-FET to promote implantation and uterine stability, rather than uterine blood flow. Treatment is minimal & gentle, with no e-stim.
- After you conceive, we recommend weekly acupuncture for first trimester to help prevent early pregnancy loss.