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Acupuncture with IVF

In Vitro Fertilization

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body. The process usually includes stimulating ovulation, retrieving eggs from a woman's ovaries and allowing the sperm to fertilize the eggs in a laboratory setting. The fertilized egg is then cultured and implanted in a woman's uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
Acupuncture with IVF

Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase the success of IVF.
Scientific research on the effects of acupuncture is relatively new but continues to develop at an ever-increasing rate. The landmark German study in 2002 by Wolfgang E. Paulus1 compared pregnancy rates of two groups of women undergoing IVF. The group receiving acupuncture 25 minutes before, and 25 minutes after embryo transfer had a pregnancy rate of 42.5% compared to 26% for the non-acupuncture group. 
Embryo Transfer Treatments

The most common way Traditional Chinese Medicine is used for patients undergoing IVF is by providing acupuncture treatments done on the day of the embryo transfer, both pre- and post- transfer.
Time Acupuncture routinely administers pre- and post-transfer acupuncture treatments for IVF patients of Pacific Fertility Center, UCSF and other Bay Area fertility clinics. 

Pre-Cycle Treatments

Our acupuncture treatment plan for IVF patients can include treatments pre-conception and pre-egg-retrieval and goes far beyond just the pre- and post- embryo transfer treatments. 
Wherever possible, Time Acupuncture strongly recommends that patients receive consistent acupuncture treatments in the 4 to 6 months prior to the IVF retrieval-fertilization-transfer cycle.
Consistent acupuncture treatments can balance your hormones, improve your overall health and fertility naturally, and put you in the best position to conceive before the cycle even begins.
Benefits of IVF Acupuncture

Patients undergoing In Vitro Fertilization can use acupuncture to:

Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
Improve the lining of the uterus
Regulate fertility hormones which may improve the quantity and quality of follicles 
Minimize IVF and medication symptoms
Reduce stress pre- and post- transfer
Decrease chance of miscarriage and increase the chance of implant and full-term birth
Prevent uterine contraction post- transfer
Improve male factor — volume, motility, and morphology

Acupuncture for Endometriosis

Endometrial Cell Growth

Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body causing pain and, in some case, inabiltiy to conceive. 
Endometrial cells commonly grow in areas around the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, the area between the vagina and rectum, the outside of the uterus, and the lining of the pelvic cavity. 
Signs of Endometriosis:


  • Pelvic pain 

  • Pain during menstruation 

  • Pain during intercourse 

  • Irregular bleeding 

  • Inability to conceive 

Western Medicine Treatment

Western medicine seeks to treat endometriosis medicinally and with surgery. Surgical treatment attempts to remove endometrial tissue and preserving the ovaries without damaging normal tissue. 
The underlying process that causes endometriosis may not cease after Western surgical or medical intervention. 


Endometriosis and Acupuncture 

Depending on the severity of the Endometriosis, a patient may consider doing both Western and Chinese Medicine therapies to treat Endometriosis and promote fertility. 
Whether as an alternative or adjunct to western medicine treatments, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can assist in treating Endometriosis. 
Benefits of Acupuncture:


  • Reduce symptoms of Endometriosis 

  • Regulate menstruation 

  • Balance Hormones 

  • Decrease Inflammation 

Endometriosis Treatment Plan:


  • Acupuncture 

  • Herbal Medicine and Supplements 

  • Anti-inflammatory Diet Recommendations 

Acupuncture for PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders among females.
PCOS produces symptoms in approximately 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age and is thought to be one of the leading causes of female infertility. 
The most common immediate symptoms are anovulation, excess androgenic hormones, and insulin resistance. 
Anovulation results in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, and ovulation-related infertility. 
Excess androgenic hormones can block the release of the egg from the follicle causing the ovaries to fill with cysts or create immature follicles that are unable to generate eggs.
Signs of PCOS:

  • Irregular periods that come every few months, not at all, or too frequently

  • Extra hair on your face or other parts of your body, called hirsutism 

  • Acne 

  • Weight gain and/or trouble losing weight

Acupuncture and PCOS

Acupuncture, supplements and herbal medicine can assist in regulating your hormones and supporting ovulation. 
Diet, Lifestyle, and PCOS

Diet alone can have a notable impact on treating PCOS, restoring menstruation and reducing excess hair and acne.
Your practitioner may also recommend diet, exercise and lifestyle changes consistent with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 
PCOS Acupuncture Benefits:

  • Facilitating weight loss

  • Increasing insulin sensitivity 

  • Reducing blood glucose and lipid levels 

  • Regulating endocrine, neuroendocrine, and metabolic disturbances 

  • Increasing endorphins 

  • Boosting immune function 

  • Improving blood flow to the ovaries 

Acupuncture and Male Factor Infertility

Male Factor Infertility

Studies show that 30% of infertility is related to male factor problems including structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders. 
Irregularities in the quantity and quality of the sperm can lead to fertility problems. As such, couples having difficulty getting pregnant should have the sperm tested. 
The semen analysis looks at the number of sperm (sperm count), the percentage of sperm moving forward (sperm motility) and shape of the sperm (sperm morphology). 
Male Infertility Common Causes:


  • Scarring 

  • Undescended Testes 

  • Varicocele 

  • Vasectomy 

  • Hormonal Imbalances 

  • Infection and Disease 

  • Age and declining sperm quality 

  • Unhealthy diet 

  • Drugs, Cigarettes, Alcohol 

  • Obesity 


Western Medicine Treatment

Surgery is often prescribed for treating infertility caused by blockages and other structural problems. 
Some patients undergo Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) which is a procedure in which a Man's sperm sample is prepared in a laboratory setting and inserted into the Woman's uterus. 
Alternatively, patients may undergo In vitro Fertilization (IVF) where the woman's eggs are removed and fertilized with that Man's sperm in the lab and then the fertilized egg is then re-inserted into the Woman's uterus. 
Chinese Medicine Treatments:


  • Acupuncture (needles are never inserted in the genitals or genital area) 

  • Herbal Medicine and Supplements 

  • Diet and Exercise Changes 

Acupuncture Benefits:


  • Increase sperm production 

  • Increase the percentage of healthy sperm 

  • Improve sperm movement (motility) 

  • Improve the levels of hormones responsible for fertility 

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