Treated Conditions / Gynecological / Infertility-IVF

Conceive Naturally with Acupuncture & IVF Support

Infertility is not just a medical problem and it affects many people — you are not alone in your battle. In fact nine million people in the United States are affected by infertility and many of those people deal with medical, psychological and financial stresses. Recent research shows that 60% of cases are due to female infertility, while 40% result from male infertility factors.

What is Infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of active trying.

Infertility is classified into two types: Primary infertility – no previous pregnancy — approximately 40% of infertile couples.

Secondary infertility – if there was a previous pregnancy, whatever the outcome — approximately 60% of infertile couples.

What are the causes of Infertility?

  • Ovulation factors
  • Cervical/uterine factors
  • Fallopian tube factors
  • Immunology factors or inflammatory factors-both specific
    and non-specific
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ovarian Cysts
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Uterine Fibroid Tumors
  • Endocrine Imbalances
  • Luteal Phase Defect
  • Diabetes
  • Elevated FSH
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Stress
  • Lupus
  • Amenorrhea
  • Birth defects-due to fetal development from mother
    taking DES (diethylstilbestrol)
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Advanced Maternal Age
  • Unexplained Infertility
  • Male Factors

Chinese Medicine Impact on Infertility:

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine work to enhance both men and women’s fertility by restoring health and balance to the body, mind and spirit. There have been a multitude of research studies in the past decade showing how Acupuncture and TCM increase the success rate of conventional infertility treatments. In fact in the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility, a German study showed that using acupuncture pre- and post-IVF increased the success rate to 42.5% as opposed to a rate of 26.3% for those not using acupuncture.

Acupuncture is very effective when combined with assisted reproductive technologies and can also assist in achieving natural pregnancy.

For maximum benefits using Chinese medicine, we recommend at least three months of preconception care as well as maintenance treatments post- conception.

Major Benefits – Preconception Care

  • Ability to overcome common fertility challenges
  • Increased chance of conceiving naturally
  • Increased effectiveness of western procedures
  • Reduced side effects of drugs prescribed during IVF, IUI
    Prenatal
  • Improved energy and balanced emotions
  • Reduced chance of miscarriage
  • Shortened labor time post partum
  • Improved long-term reproductive health
  • Lessens post partum depression
  • Improves breast milk quality

Major effects of Acupuncture in the treatment of Infertility:

  • Regulates the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis
  • Reduces stress and cortisol levels
  • Increases the thickness of the uterine lining
  • Increases blood flow to the uterus and pelvic region
  • Relaxes the uterus
  • Stimulates ovulation
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Decreases morning sickness

Chinese Medicine Treatment of Infertility:

Western medicine concentrates solely on the health of the reproductive organs whereas Chinese medicine works to strengthen and balance all systems of the body. To achieve balance we use acupuncture, herbs, Reproductive Organ Massage, dietary measures, nutritional supplements, and stress reduction.

Simple plan treatment with Dr.Pakula AP, MD. (RF)

Natural Fertility Treatment
Acupuncture can be used as a natural approach to fertility without the use of western medical interventions. An acupuncture treatment plan will be designed after an initial consultation. A normal course of treatment will span three to six months and will focus on correcting any ovulatory imbalances or reproductive issues such as cysts, fibroids or endometriosis.

Herbal medicines are generally used to assist with this process. It is preferable to treat both partners, as most fertility issues are not found in just the male or just the female within the couple.

Male fertility issues such as low count, low motility or poor morphology can be treated through diet and lifestyle modifications as well as regular acupuncture to balance hormones and boost fertility.

Dr Pakula highly advises to have a consultation two to three months before an IVF or medicated cycle so that diet, lifestyle and exercise changes can be made in advance and the body may create a foundation for a healthier, more balanced state of fertility.

Every acupuncture treatment plan will be customized to address the individualized patient’s needs. One theme that is common throughout the different scenarios depicted below is the need to begin acupuncture before the month of assisted reproductive therapy.

Clomid Cycle

  • It is optimal to begin acupuncture treatment one session per week, two months in advance to optimize hormonal balance and regulate any menstrual disorders such as heavy or light periods, scanty cervical fluid, delayed ovulation, etc.
  • One to two acupuncture treatments per week during the Clomid and follicular development phase of the cycle to enhance follicle growth, egg health and endometrial lining.
  • One acupuncture treatment five to seven days after ovulation to relax the uterus during implantation time.

It is often the case that women will notice thinning or nonexistent cervical fluid and scantier periods during or after repeated Clomid cycles.

These symptoms and the feeling of hot flashes or headaches is a side-effect of the medication which interferes with your body’s ability to produce adequate levels of estrogen.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can correct this imbalance quickly and efficiently and it is highly recommended that women seek treatment for this before moving on to more advanced reproductive therapies such as injectable medications.

Re-establishing your natural estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) pathways is extremely important to the health of the eggs and plays a large role in sustaining future pregnancies achieved with IVF or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).

Gonadotropin/Injectable Medication Cycle with or without IUI

It is optimal to begin acupuncture treatment two session per week for two weeks, two months in advance to optimize hormonal balance and regulate any menstrual disorders such as heavy or light periods, scanty cervical fluid, delayed ovulation, one to two electrical acupuncture treatments per week during the injectable medications to enhance follicle growth, egg health and endometrial lining.

One treatment the day before or day of the IUI

One treatment five to seven days after ovulation to relax the uterus during implantation time.

Women taking injectable medications are monitored with ultrasounds and blood work during the follicular phase of the cycle. This information will help the Dr Pakula determine the exact timing and extent of the treatments necessary to enhance the cycle.

If the woman is responding poorly to the medications, more acupuncture treatments can help boost follicular growth. Likewise, if the cycle is going well fewer treatments may be advised. The acupuncture during this kind of cycle will also help to neutralize any side-effects and promote deep relaxation.

In Vitro Fertilization Cycle

It is optimal to begin treatment two session per week fortwo weeks, then one session per week two months in advance to optimize hormonal balance and regulate any menstrual disorders such as heavy or light periods, scanty cervical fluid, delayed ovulation, etc.

Depending on the cycle schedule determined by your RE, one session per week will be advised during birth control pills and/or the Lupron portion of the cycle.

One to two treatments per week during the stimulation medications to enhance follicle growth, egg health and endometrial lining as well as promote general relaxation.

Treatments during and after egg retrieval are generally not necessary except in cases of elevated discomfort or stress.

Treatment the day before or the day of the embryo transfer to eliminate fallopian tube and uterine contractions and promote general relaxation.

On-site treatment at the fertility clinic both before and after the embryo transfer has been shown in a study to improve success rates by 40%. These treatments were designed for a study and it is not necessarily true that the acupuncture must be directly before and after transfer to have the desired effect.

The benefits of acupuncture last for many hours and days beyond the treatment time, and sessions the day before or the day of embryo transfer appear to be just as beneficial.

Dr Pakula advises to meet her as early as three months before the start of the IVF cycle. Discussion of fertility history and current needs will determine an individual treatment plan for each patient.

Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle

  • It is optimal to begin treatment one session per week, two months in advance to optimize hormonal balance and regulate any menstrual disorders such as heavy or light periods, scanty cervical fluid, delayed ovulation, etc.
  • One treatment per week during the estrogen phase to enhance hormonal balance and endometrial lining and also promote general relaxation.
  • Treatment the day before or the day of the embryo transfer to eliminate fallopian tube and uterine contractions and promote general relaxation. Acupuncture treatment before and after the embryo transfer has been shown in a study to improve success rates by 45%. to have the desired effect.
  • One treatment five to seven days after the transfer to relax the uterus during implantation time.

Frozen embryo transfer cycles are generally less stressful on the body but much more stressful emotionally. Acupuncture can continue to support the quality of the endometrial lining and overall hormonal balance.

These positive effects are in part accomplished by keeping stress within lower limits. Increasing endorphins during acupuncture neutralizes the negative effects created by cortisol and other stress hormones.

By promoting relaxation on both emotional and physiologic levels, you are giving your body the best opportunity to naturally take over and nourish a pregnancy.

Dr Pakula, acupuncture physician, can discuss what the best choice is for your case.

 

Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
12301 Taft St #200, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
Phone: (954) 880-0090