Fertility acupuncture is for those with infertility who want to conceive naturally, or those going through IVF, IUI, or an egg retrieval to freeze their eggs. It is a really helpful tool to help increase your chances of success with conceiving.
If your assisted fertility treatments take place in Ottawa, I would love to help with acupuncture from start to finish. If you live in Ottawa but are seeking treatments like IVF or IUI in another city, I can help with preparation ahead of your treatments. I also support you after your procedure(s).
Why should I consider fertility acupuncture?
There are many reasons to choose to get acupuncture for fertility, no matter where you are in your conception journey. You may be planning to start trying soon and want to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. Or, you may have started trying and want to quicken the process.
If you’ve gotten fertility testing done, we can work together to help offset any findings from your testing. See below for an explanation of what acupuncture can do for different findings. If your testing shows that everything seems normal, acupuncture can help tweak what you’re already doing to offer better results. And if you have yet to undergo any testing, that’s not a problem. Questions asked during the initial assessment will help direct your treatments.
If you’re going through an Assisted Reproductive Technology like IUI or IVF, acupuncture can help improve the outcome. It can also provide support for any symptoms you may develop while taking medications, as well as symptoms often developed after procedures.
When should I begin fertility acupuncture?
Timing needs may vary from one person to the next, and based on the type of fertility treatments sought out. If you’re trying to conceive naturally, the best time to start is now. It doesn’t matter where you are in your cycle. We first have to lay the foundation before we can focus on the specifics. Once the basics are in place, we can get more specific about treatment timing.
When preparing for fertility treatments like IVF or IUI, it’s ideal to begin acupuncture sessions 3 months before your treatments begin. This will allow us to work on your egg health, hormone balance, and prepare your body to support a pregnancy. Treatments will be scheduled on a weekly basis.
I just found out my fertility treatments are in less than 3 months. Will acupuncture still help?
Any acupuncture is better than no acupuncture. Even if we don’t have a 3 month period to get your body prepared, there is still a lot that can be done in a few weeks, or sometimes even less. To compensate for having less time, you can schedule more frequent appointments.
I’m going through IVF. What can you do for me?
If you’re undergoing an egg retrieval, acupuncture can help maximise the number of follicles and their quality. Due to the way acupuncture works, this will also help support your body’s ability to carry a pregnancy later on. It’s recommended to get acupuncture before and after your egg retrieval.
Acupuncture is also helpful in reducing the risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). In the cases where there is OHSS, we can focus on reducing the symptoms.
Treatment is also recommended to improve sperm motility, sperm counts, and sperm quality. Weekly treatment 6 weeks ahead of time can make a significant difference.
When it’s time for the embryo transfer, acupuncture before and after will help increase the chances of implantation.
Can you help me prepare for IUI?
Yes! Whether you’re doing a natural or stimulated (medicated) round of IUI, together we can focus on improving the outcomes. Much like with natural conception or IVF, we’ll focus on balancing your hormones, improving egg quality, and helping your body support a healthy pregnancy.
Scheduling acupuncture before and after your procedure is recommended.
What does a treatment look like?
I’m often asked where the needles will go for fertility acupuncture treatments. Much like with other types of acupuncture, needle location varies from one person to the next, and from one session to the next. This will depend on underlying issues affecting your fertility (e.g. hormone balance versus thickness of endometrial lining). It will also depend on how far along you are in the process.
General needle locations can include arms, legs, abdomen, back, and on the head. If you’re not comfortable with having needles in any of these areas, let me know and we can figure out an alternative together that will make you more comfortable.
I recommend wearing shorts or pants that can easily be raised above the knees to your treatments. Short sleeves or a sweater with sleeves that can also be raised is also ideal. A fertility session will generally look similar to other acupuncture services.
How does fertility acupuncture work?
The most general answer to this question is that acupuncture works to re-establish balance (homeostasis) in the body. This can look like addressing hormone balance, which can help with lack of ovulation or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It’s also helpful in reducing the risk of miscarriages.
Acupuncture also helps improve circulation, fluid movement, and reduce blockages. For this reason, it’s also a useful treatment to include in addition to your medical treatments for ectopic pregnancies, fallopian tube blockages, endometriosis, and uterine lesions.
As mentioned above, it can target egg and sperm health. It can also help ensure that your uterine lining is the right thickness for implantation and a healthy pregnancy.
It’s also a helpful tool in reducing stress levels.
My treatments worked and now I’m pregnant. Should I still get acupuncture?
The choice is always yours! Acupuncture can help with many pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. It also helps reduce the risk of a miscarriage. Later on in a pregnancy, it can be one of your tools to prepare for labour and help with labour induction when you’re ready.
If you’re ready to get started, book your acupuncture appointment now!