Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has thousands years history. It has unique basic theories and diagnostic methods. It is a very effective therapy in treating many chronic diseases and some acute diseases. If you are interested in TCM, welcome to pop in to this TCM forum, let's discuss on any topic about Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. If you have any health problem, you are welcome to visit my clinic Knowhow Acupuncture at No.1 Harley street, London. If you are far away from London, you can pop in my online clinic to get some help. If you like this blog please share it to your friends.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Questions and Answers about Acupuncture support IVF


Ellie was my client. I did acupuncture to support her first IVF. She succeed at the first try. When her daughter was about 2 years old, she contact me for her second IVF support at few weeks ago. After about one month treatment, she got pregnant again. She recorded all her IVF procedure in video and shared her experience in her Facebook diary  She also asked me to write a Q&A about this topic. Next is our dialogue.

Questioner : Ellie Thompson
Answerer: Tiejun Tang

Acupuncture – What is it?
Tell us a bit about how it works in term of the body and why putting needles into these areas can help?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy. It is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is among the oldest medical therapies in the world. Acupuncture is penetrating the skin with filiform needles to stimulate certain points of the body. According to the traditional Chinese medicine approach, there are fourteen channels known as meridians in the human body, these meridians link to corresponding organs and travels up and down. Every acupuncture point is like a tube station on individual channels. Stimulating specific acupuncture points can correct imbalances in the flow of Qi or Chi. It also can regulate blood circulation of the whole body, correct imbalances of Yin & Yang and regulate the function of internal organs. That is why acupuncture can release many symptoms physically and mentally, and benefit health.

Why is acupuncture especially recommended for fertility/IVF?
IVF success rate is very low usually. Clinical research has showed that acupuncture can increase the success rate of IVF. This fact was discovered by chance. In 1999 Dr Stener-Victorin tried to evaluate the anaesthetic effect during oocyte aspiration in IVF. She found the acupuncture group had a significantly higher implantation rate, pregnancy rate, and take home baby rate. She published her research report in Human Reproduction, the top journal in reproductive medicine. Some other doctors repeated this clinical research and add two acupuncture sessions on embryo transfer day. The result showed the acupuncture group’s success rate was significantly higher than that of the control group. Many clinical trials were carried out with modified treatment protocol. More and more doctors recommended acupuncture during the IVF treatment. More reference paper and research detail can be obtained here.

Can acupuncture help a couple struggling to conceive, to conceive naturally and how?
Acupuncture not only can increase the success rate of IVF, but it can also help couples conceive naturally. According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, the fertility function is dominated mainly by the kidney. Normal Qi and blood circulation in both partners ensures a normal fertility function. Acupuncture can boost the fertility function by tonifying the kidneys and regulating qi and blood circulation. Remember that IVF has only 40 years of history, while in comparison, traditional Chinese medicine has used acupuncture to treat infertility for thousands years.

Can acupuncture improve sperm quality, morphology, motility and speed?
Yes, research reports showed acupuncture can significant improve sperm quality, morphology, motility and ultrastructural.
Here are some useful research studies to read in more depth:

Why do you take a pulse and look at the tongue – How much do those things tell you?
Pulse taking and tongue observation are two diagnosis methods of Chinese medicine.
The diagnosis is very important because the acupuncture point selection is based on diagnosis. Pulse and tongue can provide a lot of information to practitioner, includes the level and status of qi and blood, the functional condition of each internal organs, the imbalance of yin and yang etc. Patient should not eat or drink colourful food and drinks before an acupuncture visit in case the tongue shows a fake colour.

When should one have acupuncture during an IVF cycle?
The acupuncture treatment protocols are various for individual cases. The treatment plan depends on the age, constitution, history and many other factors. In some conditions acupuncture should start 2-3 month before IVF for fertility to prepare.
During the ovarian stimulation acupuncture should be used to reduce the side effects caused by IVF drugs; one acupuncture session at an hour before egg collection, to alleviate the tension and pain during egg collection; two sessions of acupuncture about an hour before and after embryo transfer.
The first week after embryo transfer one or two sessions of acupuncture are needed. If the pregnancy tests positive, the patient still need to carry on with acupuncture once a week until the 12th week in order to prevent miscarriage.

When you’re treating someone undergoing IVF, do you look at treating other problems in the body may be contributing to infertility?
Yes, of course. We must treat other problems during the IVF process. Some chronic diseases can effects success rate of IVF. It may be one of the reasons for infertility. Chinese medicine emphasises a holistic view of the human body. Acupuncture can regulate qi and blood circulation, balance the yin/yang of whole body. Nourishing qi and blood can benefit anemia. Tonified yin/yang can regulate hormone imbalance and thyroid disorder. Activating blood flow and removing blood stasis can reduce symptoms of endometriosis, PCOS and uterine fibroids.

Are there immediate signs that acupuncture has worked, or is working? i.e. Pulse, tongue etc?
After acupuncture treatments many people will feel energetic, experiencing improved sleep, less stress and anxiety. Their face colour and tongue colour looks better then before and their pulse will get stronger.

Why is acupuncture so important before and after embryo transfer, what does each sessions do?
Embryo transfer day is an important day in IVF. Patient should have the best condition on that day. An acupuncture session about one hour before ET is necessary. It can reduce the stress mood, benefit qi and blood movement and strengthen kidney function which will increase the chance of success; a session after ET also necessary. It can nourish heart and calm the nerves, this will help patient have good sleep and good rest after ET. Many researchers believe that acupuncture treatment on the ET day is even more important than egg collection day treatment.

What happens if a session is missed – is it important to have regular sessions?
It is very important to have regular acupuncture session around the IVF process/cycle. If a session is missed, it is better to arrange a replacement session in next one or two days. Never miss the session on egg collection day and embryo transfer day. Regular sessions mean a higher chance of success.

What top tips would you give to couples trying to conceive in term of things they can do besides acupuncture? – i.e. Diet, general health etc.
The top tips to increase success rate of IVF are:
  • Keep a happy mood and confidence
  • Healthy diet, avoid spicy food and cold food
  • No smoking and no alcohol
  • Regular and gentle exercise
  • Enough sleeping and rest
  • Take Chinese herbal remedy which prescript by a qualified practitioner in some stage of IVF

1 comment:

  1. Hiv disease for the last 3 years and had pain hard to eat and cough are nightmares,especially the first year At this stage, the immune system is severely weakened, and the risk of contracting opportunistic infections is much greater. However, not everyone with HIV will go on to develop AIDS. The earlier you receive treatment, the better your outcome will be.I started taking ARV to avoid early death but I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.As a Hiv patent we are advise to be taking antiretroviral treatments to reduce our chance of transmitting the virus to others , few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information on Hiv treatment with herbal medicine, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from Hiv her name was Achima Abelard and other Herpes Virus patent Tasha Moore also giving testimony about this same man,Called Dr Itua Herbal Center.I was moved by the testimony and i contacted him by his Email.drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com We chatted and he send me a bottle of herbal medicine I drank it as he instructed me to.After drinking it he ask me to go for a test that how i ended my suffering life of Hiv patent,I'm cured and free of Arv Pills.I'm forever grateful to him Drituaherbalcenter.Here his contact Number +2348149277967...He assure me he can cure the following disease..Hiv,Cancer,Herpes Virus,Lyme Disease,Epilepsy, ,Bladder Cancer,Colorectal Cancer,Breast Cancer,Kidney Cancer,Leukemia,Lung Cancer,Non Hodgkin Lymphoma,Skin Cancer,Lupus,Uterine Cancer,Prostate Cancer, fibromyalgia ,ALS,Hepatitis,Copd,Parkinson disease.Genetic disease,Fibrodysplasia disease,Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva,Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome,Liver/Kidney Inflammatory,Men/Woman infertility, bowel disease ,Huntington's disease ,Diabetes,Fibroid...