Everything you want to know about acupuncture for fertility
The main goal of fertility acupuncture is to normalize both you and your partner’s eggs, uterine lining, sperm, and stress levels. In the end the goal of humans is to reproduce, it’s our default mode. Acupuncture can be the primary tool to help you naturally conceive or it can be a supportive tool while you go through the process and journey of IVF. Either way, acupuncture for fertility is proven to help. At my fertility acupuncture clinic in Tampa, FL I’ve helped hundreds of couples have the BEST chance possible at having a healthy baby. At every step of the process I work with both you (and your partner & fertility doctor) to ensure that the acupuncture process works with other fertility treatments and healthy concerns. Let me walk you through the most important things you need to know about acupuncture for fertility.
When to get acupuncture for fertility?
If you’re reading this then start fertility acupuncture NOW! Acupuncture for fertility works when you give it sufficient time.
A realistic treatment plan starts 3 months before trying to conceive both naturally or with IVF. But truthfully the time to normalize you and your partner will vary based on your overall health before starting treatment. Remember when it comes to acupuncture for fertility, the main value comes from normalizing your eggs, uterine lining and your partner’s sperm parameters (motility, morphology) and this all takes time.
There’s no bad time to start fertility acupuncture but to maximize your chances it’s best to start fertility acupuncture treatment 3 months before IVF or trying naturally. Just like everything else in medicine and life, timing matters. We have to work with the growth cycles of your eggs, which we can influence the last 3-4 months of. We have to work with the growth cycle, shedding and function of your uterine lining which happens monthly with your monthly cycle. And we have to work with the growth cycle of your partner’s sperm which takes about 90 day.
Summary: Start fertility acupuncture 3 months a minimum before trying naturally or an IVF cycle. It’s still beneficial to start fertility acupuncture at anytime if you missed the 3 month window.
How often should you get fertility acupuncture treatments?
For acupuncture to be effective, just like any medicine, it needs to be dosed appropriately. For most conditions that means acupuncture 1-2 times a week The length of time you will need treatment is going to vary depending on how much work needs to be done to normalize all of your body systems. Expect an initial treatment plan of 12 weeks, then we re-evaluate where you are and how much progress you’ve made.
It used to be thought a single treatment before transfer and after transfer was enough to make a significant difference but the real benefit from acupuncture comes from this normalization process and that takes time. Dr. Josh Hanson will still do pre/post transfer treatment but the success rate (live births) is much higher when we provide the full spectrum of care and help to normalize everything for a few weeks before conception (both naturally or with IVF).
Our goal is to get you as healthy as possible to have the best chances at having a healthy baby. This means we want to normalize your monthly cycle, egg quality, uterine lining and normalize your partner’s sperm.
If you are under a time crunch or receiving IVF we often compress those 12 treatments into a shorter time period.
Some conditions (PCOS, Endometriosis) require more frequent treatments or longer treatment plan and that will be discussed on your first visit.
Summary: Expect to come weekly for a minimum of 12 weeks to notice substantial effects. Chinese herbal medicine will likely be prescribed if appropriate for your clinical situation.
Acupuncture for fertility success rates
Success rates aren’t going to be the same for every single person but according to recent research in the Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine, Fertility Acupuncture (and the full spectrum of Chinese Medicine including lifestyle change & chinese herbal medicine) has been proven to increase success rates by about ~50% (1).
In my clinic that provides fertility acupuncture in Tampa, FL I keep statistics of all pregnancy success rates each year. Over the last 5 years I’ve had an average success rate of about ~59% per couple that complete their recommended treatment plan. This includes EVERY case that comes in my door even the VERY complicated ones – couples trying naturally, with IUI, IVF, IVF with ICSI, couples with multiple failed rounds of IVF, and everything in between.
What to expect when getting fertility acupuncture
Acupuncture for fertility treatments are very relaxing (it’s one of the goals with treatment). Most people end up taking a short nap. Treatments last 15-30 minutes.
Where do the needles go for fertility acupuncture?
The tiny, hair thing needles are gently placed just below your belly button in your tummy and in your arms and legs. For most fertility cases I generally use 8-15 little tiny pins. The goal with the needle placement is to increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, balance hormones, calm down stress centers in the brain and reduce inflammation. We can also help to regulate the immune system (for cases like endometriosis or miscarriages cased by immune issues).
Fertility acupuncture cost
Fertility acupuncture treatments will cost on average of $75-$125 a visit in Tampa, FL.