The IUI and IVF support program consists of the all of the basics for Fertility Support: health optimization, removing obstacles that may block fertility, nutritional advice, acupuncture, along with specific strategies to improve success rate of your IVF or IUI treatment. The clinic offers a scientifically-based, individualized, custom program to enhance the effectiveness of ivf and other conventional fertility treatments.
The basis of the program is:
- Optimization of immune system function
- Enhance implantation
- Reduce stress
- Improve your overall health and nutrition pre-pregnancy
- Improve semen analysis
- Acupuncture treatments
IVF can be an extremely stressful process. It is very important for it’s success to reduce stress levels.
Impact of stress:
- Stress affects progesterone production in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This can cause ‘luteal phase defect’, or simply affect implantation in the luteal phase.
- Stress affects blood sugar regulation which in turn will worsen hormone balance in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- Stress increases inflammation in the body and can worsen inflammatory conditions related to infertility: hypothyroidism, autoimmune conditions, endometriosis and the presence of any autoimmune antibodies.
- Stress increases prolactin levels which then inhibits ovulation.
- Stress also affects the surge or LH (luteinizing hormone), which is a pituitary hormone responsible for beginning ovulation.
- Stress has also been found to reduce cervical mucous, and reduce the thickness of the endometrium by affecting estrogen levels.
Why start early? I recommend starting our IVF Support program optimally 3-4 months before you schedule an IVF or IUI treatment. This ensures best results because:
- Improves follicle health which take 120 days for full development
- Improve egg quality
- Strengthen luteal phase
- Semen characteristics take 3-4 months to improve
With Naturopathic medicine, we can support your body to be in optimal health prior to you IVF or IUI cycle. When your body is healthy, your egg quality will be optimal, you will have the best possible response to your fertility protocol, and you are creating the best possible environment for an embryo to take root and grow. And from here come the most successful pregnancies.
You may be impatient to get started with your IVF cycle, but rest assured you that spending 3 months before in order to optimize your health will lead to much higher success rates, and a healthier pregnancy outcome.
Day of IVF Transfer Acupuncture
Approximately one in ten couples have difficulty conceiving, and assisted reproductive procedures are often used to achieve a successful pregnancy1. However, assisted reproductive procedures such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), have been scientifically proven to be more effective when acupuncture is provided directly before and after embryo transfers. Acupuncture is a non-invasive, all-natural way to improve your chances of becoming pregnant with assisted reproductive procedures by up to 65%1.
Research shows that acupuncture works to improve the efficacy of IVF treatment in many ways. Acupuncture improves the function of the ovaries2,3, regulates hormone levels4, increases blood flow to the uterus5, and increases the thickness of the uterine lining5. These factors increase likelihood of embryo implantation, as well as improve overall success rates for live birth.
Acupuncture affects both the central and peripheral nervous system to decreases stress and increase beta-endorphins4, which helps to relax patients on their transfer day. Relaxation is important for preventing the uterus from contracting, which can negatively impact chances of conception. Acupuncture also strengthens the immune system, which improves the likelihood of having a successful ongoing pregnancy6.
Several studies have found that acupuncture prior to and immediately after embryo transfer significantly increases pregnancy and live birth outcomes by up to 65%1.
A meta-analysis published in the prestigious British Medical Journal was conducted on1,366 women undergoing IVF1. The analysis concluded that pre and post embryo transfer acupuncture statistically significantly improved rates of clinical pregnancy by 65%, ongoing pregnancy by 87%, and live birth by 24%.
A study done by Paulus et al.7 compared pregnancy rates in a total of one hundred and sixty patients undergoing IVF. Acupuncture was done in eighty patients twenty-five minutes before and after embryo transfer. The clinical pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group was 42.5% as compared to the control group of 26.3%.
Many other studies have been conducted since these, which provide more information and overwhelming support for the use of acupuncture in combination with IVF and other assisted reproductive treatments.
What to expect
Dr. Booth will meet with you prior to your transfer date for a 40 minute initial consultation and assessment. A thorough initial assessment allows Dr. Booth to tailor your acupuncture treatment specifically for you, which improves the efficacy of treatment. On the day of your transfer, Dr. Booth will meet you at your fertility clinic (in Toronto only) to provide on-site pre and post transfer treatments. Research shows that acupuncture done approximately 20-30 minutes after transfers provides the best results. Each pre and post acupuncture treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes.
We recommend that you contact your fertility clinic in advance to make arrangements to bring a licensed Naturopathic Doctor with you on your transfer day. Most fertility clinics are happy to accommodate this request, as it increases your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Appointments can be booked with Dr. Booth, ND or by phoning our office at 416-214-9251.
1 Manheimer E et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2008; 336:545.
2 Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod 1996;11:1314-7.
3 Chang R, Chung PH, Rosenwaks Z. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Fertil Steril 2002; 78: 1149-1153.
4 Chen BY. Acupuncture normalizes dysfunction of hypothalamic- pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupunct Electrother Res 1997; 22:97-108.
5 Stener-Victorin E. Reproductive Medicine: Research Projects in Acupuncture. Acupunct Med 1998; 16: 80-82.
6 Johnson D. Acupuncture prior to and at embryo transfer in an assisted conception unit – a case series. Acupunct Med 2006; 24:23-28.
7 Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril 2002; 77: 721- 724.