Acupuncture for Fertility and Supplements
I’m back again! Now that Toronto has entered phase 3 of reopening with COVID-19 restrictions, acupuncture is available again. I decided to switch to the naturopathic clinic that works with my fertility clinic, as they have an integrated system, allowing the naturopathic doctors to see when I’m coming in for fertility treatments and monitoring. After my initial consultation today, the ND also recommended to increase my Ubiquinol from 200mg to 600-800 mg prior to retrieval, to stick with the NAC I started recently, stick with the 4000iu vitamin D, and just to change my prenatal to one that has active folate (instead of the one with folic acid). So below is what I am currently taking, in addition to my medications for depression and anxiety. According to the ND, research has shown to have a higher chance of implantation of the embryo if you have pre and post implantation acupuncture. So let’s find the evidence! In a meta-analysis (in case you’re not a scientist - this is an analysis of all applicable studies), researchers found that receiving acupuncture prior to oocyte collection (egg retrieval) increased the clinical pregnancy rate, and live birth rate. However, in a side-by-side comparison of women receiving acupuncture versus "sham" acupuncture (control), before and after embryo transfer, there was no statistical difference in live birth rates. This suggests that the benefits may be a perceived psychological benefit, the time while you are resting during the acupuncture treatment gives you 20 to 30 minutes of down time, therefore the stress reduction can increase pregnancy rate. Women who received several acupuncture sessions (greater than one month) compared with one acupuncture session on the day of embryo transfer, had a perceived stress during their IVF treatments that was lower. So if all acupuncture does is lower your stress levels during IVF, then it's probably a good thing! On the off-chance that it works to improve oocyte quality, then we want to know that we have done everything that we can.