The British Acupuncture Council has a membership of around 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK’s largest professional regulatory body for the practice of traditional acupuncture and I am very proud to say that in July 2020 I celebrated 25 years of being a qualified acupuncturist.
Many studies have shown acupuncture treatments have a really positive impact on the success rates for women undergoing assisted fertility treatments such as IVF and ICSI and improves birth rates.
Often women have come to see me when they are trying to reduce their stress and anxiety levels during Assisted Reproductive Treatment. The psychological and emotional impact of many doctors appointments and trying to balance hope and protect from possible disappointment can be nerve wracking and exhausting – just when you are being told to be healthy and relax.
The question will arise as to what is the best time to have acupuncture?
Getting the menstrual cycle regular and making sure both partners are as healthy as possible before fertility treatment is very important.
I like to have an in-depth discussion about a treatment plan which will often extend over several weeks or months (to regulate and optimize the menstrual cycle). This should be done taking into consideration what is a reasonable and achievable program for the patient – travel times accessibility, convenience and proximity should all be considered.
In my personal opinion regular sessions are optimal. I usually recommend a weekly treatment for 6 to 8 weeks then review with the patient the next step of the program. This may seem quite often or intense but in certain cases traditionally a patient would be seen every day for 14 days then have a 7 day rest and then resume another 14 days of treatment. This would however be in China where the treatment was most state funded for serious health conditions.
Clients frequently say how amazed they are at the improvement of their next period when initially coming to me for treatment. The PMS symptoms are less or completely absent and the period itself is virtually pain free. This is great as pain is a sign of stagnation in Oriental medicine, a sign of disharmony within the body.
Acupuncture can be carried out during ovulation to help influence the follicles, improve blood and energy circulation in the lower abdomen and to help with relaxation.
There are very well established protocols for before and after transfer of embryos where a patient will visit me immediately before attending the appointment for the transfer when they are usually feeling a little apprehensive and then on their way home after the transfer. There are well established tried and tested point protocols for this.
Implantation is one of the most vital parts of conception and a healthy endometrium of a desired thickness enables this to happen. In acupuncture language we talk about the holding action of the uterus and pulling up and connecting with the ancestors points DU20 and spleen points are important.
The two-week wait (or tww as it is known) before one can take a pregnancy test, is actually one of the most awful times for a woman. There is so much uncertainty about the outcome. Depending on the personality of the woman they may have spent months thinking positively, welcoming their baby’s spirit to them, placing their hands on their lower abdomen and talking to their unborn child and the balance of this along with knowing the chances and statistics of conceiving depending on their age and procedures undertaken …… are very very tough.
I love working with my clients. For me my career is a vocation and I hope to be able to support and guide you on your journey.