Acupuncture For Fertility & IVF
Infertility is a rapidly increasing problem for both Men and Women these days. There can be many causes including stress, age, hormonal imbalances, constant exposure to radiation from mobile phones, undiagnosed issues, diet, endometriosis, blockages in the fallopian tubes, low sperm count, long term use of the oral contraceptive pill and much more.
While IVF is the common path that many head down when they're having trouble falling pregnant, it can be expensive and multiple treatments are often needed costing thousands.
Statistics On Infertility
- One in six couples are infertile. In 40% of cases the problem rests with the female, and in 40% with the male. 10% of cases the problem is with both partners, while in the final 10% of cases the cause is unknown.
- Fertility issues affect one in three women over the age of 35.
- 1 in 25 males has a low sperm count and one in 35 is diagnosed as sterile.
- Healthy couples in their 20's who have regular unprotected sex have a 25% chance of becoming pregnant each month.
- The average chance of conceiving through a single IVF treatment is just 20%.
- More than 1% of births in Australia involve the use of assisted reproductive technologies.
How Can Acupuncture Help Fertility?
There has been lots of anecdotal evidence over the years suggesting that Acupuncture can help with fertility, but it has only been in the last couple of decades that research has been conducted, which support this claim.
Difficulties With IVF
As previously mentioned, the average chance of conceiving through a single IVF cycle is only about 20%. If you have the money and perseverance to endure several cycles then you have about a 50% chance of conceiving through IVF, if you're in your early 30's or younger. Given that one cycle costs about $3000 out of pocket (after about $5000 worth of Medicare & Private Health Fund rebates), it has the potential to be a very costly procedure, with no guarantee that you will fall pregnant.
Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with IVF to help overcome some of the issues the body may encounter with IVF. By using a relatively low cost treatment to help boost your chances of falling pregnant, Acupuncture is becoming widely used in the world's leading IVF clinics.
Here is an interesting systematic review done in 2009, which concludes that Acupuncture can improve the live birth rate of IVF treatments.
How Long Are The Treatments?
Your initial treatment will take approximately 1 1/2 hrs and will include a full medical history, your treatment and professional advice for you follow outside of your treatments. Subsequent treatments are usually 1hr.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Some patients fall pregnant straight away, while it can take some time for others. It's impossible to state exactly how many treatments you will require straight away, although after one or two consultations changes within your body (eg menstrual cycle) can often indicate how you are responding to your treatments, and give your practitioner a better idea of how many more treatments will be needed. Your Acupuncturist will also be there to guide you through any difficulties and show you how you can create the best environment to fall pregnant outside of your consultations.
Read more general information about what else Acupuncture can help you with here.