Here are some of the common questions I get asked about acupuncture for fertility.
How often will I need to come and how many sessions should I expect to have?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to fertility however as a general guide I recommend the following, this stands whether you are coming to see me for natural fertility or prior to an IVF cycle: weekly sessions for a minimum of 12 weeks, some conditions may need longer treatment periods ie ; up to six months and some less frequent. You will still benefit from fortnightly acupuncture however the overall treatment time may therefore be longer.
For those patients about to undergo fertility treatment imminently and looking for acupuncture to support the immediate process then I advise treatment around the following stages;
- Down Regulation – one treatment
- Follicle Stimulation Stage – treatment throughout stimulation can help follicle growth and endometrial lining. If in a previous round of treatment you had slower growth, fewer eggs collected or struggled with getting your endometrium to the required thickness then 2 sessions throughout this stage would be very beneficial.
- One treatment between your trigger shot and egg collection
- Post Egg Retrieval – This would be a very beneficial time to see you to help you recover from the egg retrieval. Even more so if you are at risk of suffering with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) or suffer with Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS).
- Post Embryo Transfer – Again a very beneficial time, acupuncture has been proven to increase circulating blood flow to the uterus and relax the uterus to avoid any contraction which may hinder implantation. This can also be quite an anxious time so I find this a good time to help you relax
- Two week wait or the ‘Luteal Phase’ – This can feel like a lifetime and your anxiety levels may be elevated. Therefore, having acupuncture at this time can be deeply calming!
How soon can I expect to see results?
Many patients report that they see an improvement in certain symptoms after one or two sessions, this may include digestive symptoms, pre menstrual symptoms, sleep or anxiety levels. These are all signs that your body is adapting to a new state of balance that we are trying to attain. 12 weeks is the evidence based recommended time frame required to improve your fertility and conceive with minimal risk of miscarrriage, however this will always be discussed with you on an individual basis.
Is Acupuncture painful?
Generally no, some patients report a heavy, dull sensation in the local area after the needle has been inserted and this is completely normal. Many patients end up falling asleep after the needles have been inserted!
How long do consultations last?
Your initial consultation will last around 90 minutes. This is an in depth consultation where we explore all aspects of your health and well being including and your desired outcome from treatment. Its includes your first acupuncture treatment. Follow up consultations will last for 60 minutes with a chance to feedback on anything that may have changed since your previous session.
What is the cost?
Initial consultations are priced at £95 with follow ups at £65. If you wish to purchase any of the recommended products such as herbal tablets or warming patches then these are an additional cost and will be discussed with you first.
Is there anything else I can do to improve my fertility?
I may ask you to chart your basal body temperature, this gives me an overall picture of your menstrual cycle, whether you are ovulating and your overall fertile picture. I would give you full instructions on how to do this, its very simple. It means I can tailor my treatment more specifically or advise whether I recommend further investigatory tests.
Diet is key and can sometimes eliminate the need for expensive supplements, I recommend a local nutritionist who I often work with and whom specialises in women’s health and hormone balancing.
Stress management is another factor that can make a difference and again I work with some local yoga teachers and fertility coaches to offer you an integrated approach.
You can find all of their details here