Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Ideally, the majority of patients experiencing unexplained fertility problems will have tried acupuncture before opting for IVF. If you have resorted to exploring the IVF route, it is best to prepare your body as much as possible by having regular acupuncture treatments a few months in advance.

Recently, a systematic review and meta-analysis of several good quality trials was published in the British Medical Journal.**

Systematic reviews are considered the gold standard of medical research and in this paper the authors conclude having acupuncture on the day or day following embryo transfer significantly increases your chances of clinical pregnancy.  On average, the authors found, for every ten women treated with acupuncture alongside IVF, one additional clinical pregnancy would occur.Statistics aside, going through the whole IVF process is generally an incredibly stressful time. People report time and time again they truly value acupuncture to help relieve the stress and to regain some control within the process.

Best wishes to all and remember the Chinese saying; ‘where the mind goes, energy flows’ so be relaxed and positive in all you do.Jenny Sercombe MBAcCPracticing in
Manchester and
Stockport. Call 07970 515 391 if you wish to make an appointment.
* * ACUPUNCTURE AND IVF

website   www.acupuncturewithjenny.co.uk

Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysisBMJ, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39471.430451.BE, (Published 7 February 2008) 

Male Factor Infertility

Male Factor Infertility

Infertility has historically been viewed as a predominantly female issue, but Male Factor Infertility may well be a larger problem than you think. Statistics exist suggesting Male Factor Infertility is the main cause of difficulty in anywhere between 30% to over 70% of couples having problems conceiving, (the 70% having been reported in
Cheshire, Merseyside and
West Lancs. in 2005)

However, new sperm are produced every day with the good news that simple lifestyle changes along with acupuncture could help improve both quality and quantity.*

Best wishes to all and remember the Chinese saying; ‘where the mind goes, energy flows’ so be relaxed and positive in all you do.Jenny Sercombe MBAcCPracticing in
Manchester and
Stockport. Call 07970 515 391 if you wish to make an appointment.
ACUPUNCTURE IMPROVES SPERM QUALITY

website  www.acupuncturewithjenny.co.uk 

(Fertility and Sterility, Volume 84, Issue 1 , July 2005, Pages 141-147)

Asian J Androl 2003 Dec; 5: 345-348

Acupuncture and Female Fertility

How would an acupuncturist treat female infertility?

In traditional Chinese medicine, as well as in Western medicine, the menstrual cycle is known to have several phases.Days 1-7, during menstruation, are (unsurprisingly) considered to be the blood phase.

The acupuncturist will ask questions about the quality of your blood – the colour, the flow, whether there are any clots and if you experience any pain at this time. The answers you give help your acupuncturist to determine the existence of any possible imbalances.Days 7-14 (or ovulation) are considered to be the ‘Yin Phase’.

After you have finished your bleed the body is relatively depleted and will work to replenish the blood in preparation for ovulation.Treatment during this phase concentrates on helping the body replenish the blood by gaining the maximum benefit from the digestive process.  This is why it is beneficial to eat iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables and small amounts of meat.

The Ovulatory Period

At around day 10 your acupuncturist will select points to promote healthy ovulation. At ovulation the cycle is changing from the ‘Yin Phase’ (restoration and consolidation) to the ‘Yang Phase’.

Post-Ovulatory Phase (Luteal Phase) If conception has not occurred, this is considered to be the ‘Yang Phase’ of the cycle.  ‘Yang’ is warm by nature and if you are using a basal body temperature (BBT) chart you will ideally see a marked increase in temperature at this time which relates to the surge of progesterone.Your acupuncturist may ask you to record BBT charts in order to assess the balance of the Yin and Yang energies your body is experiencing.The focus of treatment at this part of the cycle is usually to warm the ‘Yang’ of the body with the aim of increasing progesterone.Pre-Menstrual PhaseThis is considered to be the point where ‘Yang’ is at its highest and has entered the qi (pronounced chee) phase. Qi is the vital energy of your body and frequently becomes stuck and stagnated at this time. This leads to pre-menstrual symptoms such as irritability, tender breasts, weepiness, pain or constipation.The acupuncturist will work to smooth the flow of qi and in doing so to promote healthy menstruation.

As you can see, in treating for fertility we aim to bring your cycle into harmony, to promote the healthy production and release of hormones and to ensure your energy is flowing in a relaxed and uninhibited manner.

Best wishes to all and remember the Chinese saying; ‘where the mind goes, energy flows’ so be relaxed and positive in all you do.

Jenny Sercombe MBAcCPracticing in
Manchester and
Stockport. Call 07970 515 391 if you wish to make an appointment

website   www.acupuncturewithjenny.co.uk

Acupuncture – A Natural Fertility Treatment

Growing evidence indicates acupuncture can significantly increase the chances of couples conceiving*.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine originating in
China several thousand years ago. Practitioners observed the nature of all things and considered our bodies to be a microcosm of the world around us.

You have probably heard of the terms ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’. Essentially these are ways to describe the nature of something.  In the case of water for example, its ice state would be ‘Yin’ in relation to the liquid ‘Yang’ (more movement and less dense). However its liquid state would be ‘Yin’ (less movement and more dense) in relation to steam which is more ‘Yang’ in comparison.  This language of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ is also used to describe the functioning of the body.

The practice of acupuncture involves the insertion of disposable, hair-thin, sterilised needles into points situated along channels of energy just beneath your skin. The insertion of these needles promotes your body’s own healing response, restoring the balance of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ considered essential to good health.  We know from Western medicine that this process stimulates the release of hormones such as endorphins into your blood stream creating a very relaxed state. Often people are very surprised to find they frequently fall asleep during treatment.

Costs and Frequency of Sessions

An acupuncture treatment, depending on your location will cost in the region of £30-£60 per session. In general, treatment for infertility will require 3 months of weekly treatments. Over this time it is usually possible to gain a significant influence over your menstrual cycle in order to bring your body into balance and provide optimum conditions for conception.

Male factor infertility is likely to require a similar length of treatment in order to boost sperm count and increase seminal motility.If you have had prior problems with miscarriage it is also recommended to have regular treatment during the first trimester of pregnancy.

General Advice

Recommendations for both partners include;· 

 Refraining from smoking and any recreational drugs·      

 Cutting out alcohol and caffeine·          

Avoiding pesticides and chemicals and therefore eating healthily with plenty of organic produce·        

Men should avoid using laptops where possible as the heat can affect testicular function·    

Chill out! This aspect is often overlooked, but is perhaps the most important. Find at least 20 minutes to unwind completely each day. ‘Zoning out’ to the TV does not count. Try relaxation techniques or going for a walk in nature while really taking in your environment.·        

Gentle exercise such as yoga, tai chi or pilates are all great for unwinding, relaxing and getting the blood flowing to the places which need it. Or women could even join a belly-dance class – this has been used for thousands of years to increase fertility (and to entice men…)

If you do decide to explore acupuncture it is strongly recommended you approach only members of the British Acupuncture Council as you can rest assured your practitioner will have studied acupuncture to degree level, is fully insured and commits to a programme of continued practitioner development. They will carry the letters MBAcC after their name.

Be wary as there is currently no state regulation of the profession.

Best wishes to all and remember the Chinese saying; ‘where the mind goes, energy flows’ so be relaxed and positive in all you do.

Jenny Sercombe MBAcCPracticing in
Manchester and Stockport.

Call 07970 515 391 if you wish to make an appointment.

website   www.acupuncturewithjenny.co.uk

* ACUPUNCTURE AND FEMALE INFERTILITY 

A report (Fertility and Sterility 2002;78:1149-1153) found the pregnancy rate in a group receiving acupuncture was 42.5%, compared to the group which did not receive the therapy, where the rate was 26.3%.