Fertility

We are committed to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy – and ultimately a happy, healthy family. Acupuncture provides a safe, calming and scientifically proven modality to assist in all stages of fertility enhancement and pregnancy. It can bolster the success of natural conception as well as artificial reproductive technologies (ART).

 

Natural Conception and Acupuncture

 

Using natural methods of conception provides us the opportunity to highly customize your treatments based on your unique health profile.  Using these modalities, acupuncture and herbal medicine can benefit your fertility in many important ways including:

  • Improve chance of conception
  • Decrease time to pregnancy
  • Regulate menstrual cycles
  • Improve uterine lining
  • Improve cervical mucus
  • Improve ovarian function
  • Improve blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
  • Regulate hormones
  • Decrease PMS
  • Decrease cramping & clotting
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve digestion
  • Relieve stress and anxiety
  • Enhance overall health and wellness

Once a couple has had a fertility workup to eliminate factors that would make natural conception impossible, we usually recommend 6 months of acupuncture, herbs and lifestyle changes. Typically our patients see significant improvement in their menstrual cycles, and basal body temperatures in less than 90 days.

 

Common Infertility Factors We Treat:

  • Ovarian Factors: poor egg quality, diminished ovarian reserve, elevated FSH
  • PCOS
  • Endometriosis
  • Luteal Phase Defect
  • Fallopian Tube Factors
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Unexplained Infertility

IUI, IVF, FET and acupuncture

Acupuncture has been shown through clinical research to be very effective at increasing both IVF and IUI pregnancy and birth rates. Some studies have shown a 50-60% increased rate of pregnancy with acupuncture as a conjunctive therapy with ART.  (Link to article or research.)

 

How acupuncture can improve pregnancy and live birth rates for couples undergoing Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART) treatment:

  • Increases blood flow to the uterus to help thicken the lining to facilitate implantation
  • Regulates blood flow to the ovaries and uterus and helps prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
  • Helps decrease uterine cramping, which increases chances of embryo implantation and can prevent miscarriage
  • Increases blood flow to ovaries to help with follicular development
  • Improves quality and mobility of sperm to increase fertilization rates

Acupuncture before and during ART treatment:

Acupuncture can effectively benefit follicular development, quality of follicles and number of follicles to support in creating stronger embryos. Folliculogenesis is the maturation of the ovarian follicle. Follicles take many months before they are potentially released from the ovary. Knowing this, we recommend that patients start acupuncture treatment about 3 months prior to starting their ART treatment so that we have enough time to work on getting quality follicles and sperm.

Day of Embryo Transfer

Following a German study published in the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility, acupuncture drew the attention of IVF specialists around the world. In this study, 160 patients with good quality embryos were divided into two groups. The groups that received acupuncture immediately before and following the transfer received a 42.5% success rate while the control group’s success was just 26.3%. This remarkable study prompted top reproductive endocrinologists to enthusiastically recommend acupuncture to support IVF.

 

Thankfully, technology has vastly improved since 2002 and IVF success rates are dramatically higher among top clinics. Acupuncture continues to play a key role throughout the process. ART is a highly intricate process and it is important to work with an acupuncture professional who understands the specific protocol your physician is using. We are honored to serve as providers for several of Denver metro’s top reproductive endocrinologists.

 

If scheduled ahead of time, Jackie is able to provide acupuncture at Conceptions Reproductive Associates and Rocky Mountain Fertility for pre and post IVF. Both clinics generously provide a treatment room for their patients to receive in-house support on the day of embryo transfer. Please inquire for more information.

To learn more about these clinics, click below:

FERTILITY AND STERILITY® VOL. 77, NO. 4, APRIL 2002 Copyright © 2002 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Fertility and Sterility. 2006 May;85(5):1347-51. Epub 2006 Apr 17. I. Gerhard and F. Postneek, [Possibilities of Therapy by Ear Acupuncture in Female Sterility], Geburtshilfe Frauenheilke 48, no. 3 (March 1988): 165-71. Risberg T, et al. Knowledge of and attitudes toward complementary and alternative therapies; a national multicentre study of oncology professionals in Norway. European Journal of Cancer 40(4):529-35. – The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D. Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/027467_acupuncture_infertility.html#ixzz2Le8O6nre

Male Factor Infertility

For male factor infertility, morphology, motility and count can often be improved.  This is especially true if your body temperature tends to run on the hot side.  If this is the case, we usually can achieve clinically significant improvement in just a few acupuncture treatments.  Because the sperm maturation cycle takes 72 days, starting 10 weeks in advance of utilization for IUI or IVF will maximize results.  Consultations are complimentary to assess the likelihood that acupuncture will make a difference.

Prenatal

Acupuncture is thousands of years old and effectively treats many different complications associated with pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Although pregnancy is an exciting and wonderful time, it can be a time of discomfort due to the many physical and hormonal changes that occur. We want women to know that they don’t have to suffer without support! Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and effective way to address common pregnancy related complaints.

Common conditions we treat:

Prevention of miscarriage

Acupuncture can be very effective for recurrent miscarriage, threatened miscarriage, and can help to prevent ectopic pregnancy.  Even before conception, acupuncture works to increase blood flow to the uterus and fosters healthy follicle and uterine lining development.  This can assist in viable pregnancies and successful implantation.  After conception, acupuncture can effectively work to prevent miscarriage through providing adequate circulation to the fetus and supplying essential nutrients necessary for growth and development. Acupuncture also works to decrease the stress and anxiety commonly associated with the first trimester.

Nausea / Vomiting

Morning sickness during pregnancy is thought to occur in approximately half of all pregnancies. Research shows that during early pregnancy, acupuncture can decrease nausea and vomiting. A 2002 study involving 593 women (all of whom were less than 14 weeks pregnant and had symptoms of nausea or vomiting) found that those who underwent weekly acupuncture sessions for four weeks reported less nausea throughout the study. Members of the acupuncture group also reported less dry heaving from the second week on (compared with women who did not receive acupuncture).

Heartburn / Constipation

Nearly 80% of women experience gastrointestinal issues during pregnancy. Acupuncture helps harmonize the intestines, stimulates healthy function of bowels, decreases acid reflux and indigestion through specific acupuncture points.

Pain during pregnancy

Due to space becoming more limited in the body and the impact the growing baby can create on the pelvis, it is common for women to experience pain and discomfort.  Women do not have to suffer during their pregnancy! Common complaints such as pubic symphysis, carpal tunnel, round ligament pain, sciatica and back pain can be effectively treated through the use of acupuncture.

Anxiety and depression

Mood swings are often seen as a normal part of a pregnancy with irritability, irrationality and weepiness. These feelings can become overwhelming for some women, resulting in frequent periods of anxiety or depression. With an emphasis on the interconnectedness between physical and emotional health, acupuncture makes it possible to support women in achieving more balanced emotional states.

Fatigue

The level of tiredness and exhaustion that many women feel during the first trimester can take them by surprise. The demands that are being placed on the body during pregnancy in conjunction with fluctuating hormones can create an enormous amount of fatigue, usually in the first trimester. Acupuncture works to increase energy levels during this time.

Insomnia

This is a condition in which a baby is not developing during pregnancy to the degree of what is expected for it’s gestational age. Small-for-dates babies are usually detected via ultrasound by a woman’s doctor or midwife. Feedback from midwives have suggested that using acupuncture and moxibustion on particular acupuncture points have been consistently useful. Research shows that when acupuncture and moxibustion are used consistently, there is usually a significant improvement in the baby’s growth 10-12 days later. 

Edema

Women gain up to 50% more fluid in their bodies during pregnancy to support the growing fetus and prepare the body for labor by softening tissue. However, an excessive collection of fluids in the body tissue is called edema. This manifests as swelling in the hands, feet and/or ankles. Some edema can be a “normal” part of pregnancy and can be reduced with acupuncture. However, if edema does not disappear after resting, is present first thing in the morning and is accompanied by unexplained weight gain or swelling of the face, this can be a sign of pre-eclampsia. This is a condition where protein is found in the urine in conjunction with elevated blood pressure and further medical testing will be necessary.

Intrauterine growth restriction

This is a condition in which a baby is not developing during pregnancy to the degree of what is expected for it’s gestational age. Small-for-dates babies are usually detected via ultrasound by a woman’s doctor or midwife. Feedback from midwives have suggested that using acupuncture and moxibustion on particular acupuncture points have been consistently useful. Research shows that when acupuncture and moxibustion are used consistently, there is usually a significant improvement in the baby’s growth 10-12 days later. 

Breech or posterior presentation

During the 34th to 36th weeks of pregnancy, it is expected that baby will settle into an “anterior head down” position within the pelvis. This is the optimal position for labor. Poor positioning may cause prolonged labor, failure to progress, increased back pain during labor and increased chance of medical assistance such as forceps or emergency C-section. 

Many doctors are now recommending acupuncture with moxibustion because of its remarkable capability to optimize the best positioning for a breech baby.  Typically, about 52% of breech presentations will resolve on their own.  With the addition of acupuncture and moxibustion, this percentage increases to 72%.  It is important for women to get treatment as soon as they learn that their baby is breech. This is because earlier treatment allows for the baby to turn into an optimal position when there is more room in the uterus.

Labor preparation

Labor preparation refers to a series of treatments in the final weeks of pregnancy to prepare women for childbirth. Research has demonstrated that the mean duration of labor in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced from eight hours and two minutes in the control group of 70 women to six hours and 36 minutes in the group of 70 women who had received pre-birth acupuncture. 

Acupuncture is an ideal method to help women prepare themselves to have the most efficient labor possible. 

Studies have shown that labor preparation reduces the number of inductions by 35% (for women having their 1st baby there was a 43% reduction), reduces epidural rate by 31%, reduces cesarean delivery by 32% and increases chances of a vaginal births by 9%.

Weekly treatments are recommended at around 36 weeks pregnant until labor begins.

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Multi-treatment packages are available – view our pricing and packages