Acupuncture can be used throughout an IVF cycle to improve egg quality, thicken the uterus lining and help embryo implantation as well as minimise and/or eliminate the side effects of the different stages of treatment in an IVF cycle.
During ovarian stimulation and ovulation induction acupuncture has been used effectively to treat the common side effects caused by the rapid changes in hormone levels. These include dizziness, headaches, tiredness, abdominal tenderness and swelling, breast tenderness, mood swings and nausea.
Egg collection is the next step after ovarian stimulation and ovulation induction. It is an IVF surgical procedure and can cause bloating, tenderness from enlarged ovaries and general discomfort following the procedure. It’s normal to have abdominal cramping and bloating for up to a week after egg collection. The severity of symptoms can vary greatly between women. It can take a couple weeks for your ovaries to return to normal size. Acupuncture is recommended after egg collection to help recovery from anesthetic, local tissue trauma and the prevention of OHSS as well as prepare the body for the transfer.
There is a small risk of hyper-stimulation (OHSS), which generally happens when a large number of follicles are emptied at egg collection and fill up with water (cysts). Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, breathlessness, excessive abdominal pain and swelling above the belly button. If you start to experience any of the symptoms of OHSS you should contact your nurse immediately. If OHSS is identified at the very early onset acupuncture can be used successfully to treat mild to moderate cases to relieve discomfort to prevent it developing into more serious symptoms. In severe cases acupuncture can be used with western medical treatment.
After embryo transfer, acupuncture are not only used to help embryo implantation and development, but also relieve the side effects of progesterone, liking breast tenderness, tummy bloating and cramps and so on.