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Center for Reproductive Wellness of Salt Lake City, Utah - IVF and Acupuncture

Chinese Medicine can help to improve the success rate of IVF in a number of ways:

•  Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles.

•  Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs.

•  Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining.

•  Decrease stress and help you to relax.

•  Prevent uterine contractions.

•  Lessen the side effects of IVF drugs.

•  Strengthen the immune system .

•  Improve semen to create better quality and quantity of embryos.

•  Decrease chances of miscarriage.

Treating Infertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

There are two types of infertility: primary infertility, which is infertility without any previous pregnancy, and secondary infertility, in which there has been a previous pregnancy.

Common Causes of Infertility:

• Ovulation problems

• Tubal causes

• Age related factors

• Idiopathic factors

• Male factor (low sperm count, motility, etc.)

• Uterine causes

• Endometriosis

Diagnosing Infertility:

Diagnosing begins with a complete medical history and physical exam.  The healthcare provider may order some of the following tests:

• Hormone test

• Endometrial biopsy (tests the endometrial lining)

• Ovulation tests (testing release of eggs from the ovaries)

• Pelvic exam

• Pap test

• Postcoital test (performed between two and eight hours after intercourse to determine whether sperm can survive in the cervical mucus.

Western Treatment for Infertility will depend on the cause:

• Medications to cause ovulation

• Surgery to treat certain causes (e.g. endometriosis)

• Artificial Insemination (IUI) (placing sperm directly into the cervix or uterus)

• Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) (placing individual sperm cells directly inside woman's eggs)

• In vitro fertilization (IVF) (fertilizing the egg outside the womb and then returning it to the uterus)

Possible side effects of Western medical treatments to promote ovulation:

•  Headaches

•  Hot flashes

•  Mood changes

•  Abdominal pressure and fullness

•  Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)

•  Allergic reaction to antibiotics

•  Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (causes fluid shifts in body)

Traditional Chinese Medicine along with acupuncture can help with these side effects.

Treating infertility through Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is used to decrease stress in the body by regulating the sympathetic nervous system. Treatment can also help regulate hormonal imbalances and circulatory problems.

If you choose to undergo IVF, recent studies have concluded that acupuncture performed immediately before and after IVF significantly increases the chances for a viable pregnancy. Acupuncture reduces uterine contractions, which may contribute to the failure of IVF treatments before, during and after IVF. Acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus, which creates a favorable environment for pregnancy to take place.

Acupuncture treatment should be performed within 20 minutes of pre-IVF procedure and 20 minutes post-IVF procedure.

We follow specific protocols, which have demonstrated increased pregnancy rates by combining Acupuncture with ART/IVF.

The following are two of the Protocols followed:

• Stener-Victorin at al. Protocol

• Paulus et al. Protocol

Please make sure to read our “Transfer Day Notice” form. This form contains very important information regarding the process we use for handling IVF and IUI treatments.

Please call us at 801-521-0531 or click here if you have further questions regarding IVF or acupuncture treatment.



Salt Lake City Acupuncture - Center for Reproductive Wellness, Lisa Andrade

Center for Reproductive Wellness
Lisa M. Andrade, MSOM, Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.

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