Few people expect when starting out on the journey to parenthood that they are going to need medical help to achieve their dream. Babies are made in the bedroom, right? Well, not always… It’s wonderful we have technologies available to help us achieve the dream of parenthood and although the prospect of having IVF may appear completely at odds with how you expected to start (or build) your family, the reality is, when you get pregnant and have your baby, the steps you took to get there become irrelevant. I know this because I have worked with literally hundreds of women going through IVF and have cuddled many beautiful babies created by this means.
You might need IVF because you have a well-defined problem (no fallopian tubes, poor sperm, PCOS, endometriosis and so on), or because there is a genetic problem you don’t want – or simply can’t – pass on to your children (like cystic fibrosis), and you need pre-implantation genetic testing (PIGD). You may need IVF because you have the rather vague and decidedly frustrating ‘diagnosis’ of unexplained infertility where everything seems normal, perfect even, yet you’re still not conceiving.
Whatever your reason for needing IVF, acupuncture can help.
Over 15 years ago a research study was published that showed a marked increase in pregnancy rates when acupuncture was added to IVF. Since then, the study has been replicated many times and shows the same encouraging results; in fact, a paper was presented in 2016 detailing research done at the Homerton Hospital NHS Trust showing a 50% increase in pregnancy rates in the IVF + acupuncture group vs. the acupuncture group alone.
I have worked with hundreds of women as they have gone through IVF cycles and know how supportive acupuncture can be, not just at the critical times of embryo transfer but throughout the whole cycle. Acupuncture helps hugely with the emotional ups and downs of IVF, and for many women, is a safe harbour in what can sometimes feel stormy seas.
When you’re having IVF you can expect total flexibility from me with your appointments because I understand how time-critical everything is. I also understand drug regimes, drug side effects, IVF clinic protocols and their rationale, procedures, tests, the often-confusing mine-field of IVF-add on’s (and can give impartial advice as needed), how it feels to wait to pregnancy testing. I have worked with women attending most IVF clinics in London and the South East as well as many clinics abroad (see my page on donor eggs) and women find this helpful because I can offer guidance and commentary on the way each clinic does things. In this way, I not only support you by being an impartial, knowledgeable other, but offer you the time and space to get to grips with the IVF roller coaster and make the whole experience less stressful. I also bring you everything that the world of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture has to offer and this is supported in the research of acupuncture’s role in IVF.
If you’re considering IVF and want to see how acupuncture can support you, I’d love to hear from you.