CNY Fertility offers the Fertile Secret: Acupuncture for Fertility

Acupuncture has been a career for thousands and thousands of years over in China and we’ve been getting it over to The States more recently and very recently in our CNY Fertility office.  We have found that complementary acupuncture treatments have supported many of our patients while trying to conceive.  There have been multiple scientific articles promoting the use of acupuncture during IVF.  The success rate is increasing and just overall patient well-being is increasing as well.  So utilize acupuncture throughout your cycle.  There are various stages and times that you can do it.  A lot of depends on costs, if you can afford to go as often as you’re able to, then that’s great.  We also have the option to time it.  Maybe you only have the option to go one or two sessions timed specifically around your transfer or your IUI, your timed intercourse, to get the optimal treatment available to you and the optimal success rates.
Acupuncture can be a little intimidating if you’ve never been around it.  I think a lot of people will imagine these large needles sticking in all various places all over their body and it being painful, but it really isn’t.  I fall asleep on the acupuncture table all the time.  It’s so relaxing and it’s so fulfilling.  You really just feel rejuvenated as you leave.   It’s very similar to a massage appointment; you go in and talk about your recent medical history, where you are in your cycle, and what your goals are.  If your goal is to conceive, your goal maybe to work on PCOS cysts, or to work on endometrial pain, you can discuss that with the practitioner and they do an overall assessment of your health.
You have to keep in mind that Chinese medicine works on different pathways than Western medicine.  So, in Western medicine, we can look at your blood pressure, your heart rate, look at your weight and height, and how your lungs sound.  Chinese medicine, on the other hand, looks at these overall lines of meridian and these overall organ systems.  So, when you go into your appointment, for example, when I went in, I said, “Oh, I have PCOS and endometriosis, and I have irregular periods”.  I had all those Western diagnoses.  When I went into the Chinese medicine appointment, they said, “OK.  We’re going to focus on your stomach and your spleen”.  It’s a different way of thinking, it’s a different group of organs that are focused on, and it’s more focused on your natural flow of energy, and your chi.  They have great holistic and diet plans, exercise, and acupuncture sessions that will fit into your treating Chinese medicine way of thought.

Getting back to the appointment itself, you go in and you have your overall assessment and your well check up with your practitioner.  Then you lie on the table in whatever position they feel is best.  You may be fully covered, they may ask you to lift up your shirt, or maybe unbutton your pants so they can get more near your ovary area, depending on whatever your treatment is for that day.  They ask you to relax, close your eyes, and they insert just very, very tiny needles.  Nothing like any of the injections from your fertility treatments; they are so small, you barely feel them.  You usually don’t bleed from them so once they’re in, you really don’t notice them.  They are placed all over your body.  They may be in places where you really don’t associate with fertility.  I remember one time when I went in; I had them between my fingers and one in between my toe.   It was explained to me that where they place them along my body coordinated with the lines of meridian, these lines of energy.  That line of energy was a little bit blocked.  That was blocking energy to my uterus.  It was something that I wasn’t familiar with but I asked them, and they will explain it to you, because afterward, they explained it to me.  You have these needles throughout your body and afterward, you just lie on the table and relax for 15-20 minutes.  It is very calming, very serene, and very relaxing.  We found that the best results come when you do it before and after your transfer.

If you’re interested, call over to Healing Arts and let the nurses know that you’re interested in acupuncture, and we can coordinate the schedule with you.  Acupuncture is safe throughout your early pregnancy.   If you have your transfer, and you’re in your early pregnancy stages, you want to continue acupuncture treatment, completely say and just let them know that you are pregnant or if you could be pregnant.  I hope you enjoy acupuncture.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  One note of advice that I do have for you is if you are going to try acupuncture for your transfer, I suggest you try it once before the middle of your cycle or at the beginning.  As you’re going into your session, you may be anxious because you’ve never experienced this before.  It would be helpful for you to work through those anxieties not during a big moment.  You don’t want to go into your transfer being anxious because you have acupuncture and a transfer.  Try the acupuncture our first, do a dry run through, make sure you’re comfortable with everything that occurs; and then if it’s something that works for you, then try it during your transfer.  You don’t want to increase the anxiety of the transfer day by also having your first acupuncture appointment.
If you have any questions, or you’d like me to further into the acupuncture session, please let me know.  I will see you next time with our Fertile Secret series, and I’ll be talking about massage.  Have a great day!