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Minimum Acupuncture


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#1 Hilary

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 11:00 PM

I just had my first acupuncture appointment yesterday. It wasn't until the doctor started to explain how often he wanted me to receive treatment that I started to worry. My benefits plan covers only $500 per year so there's no way that I can go to two $70/per sessions per week. I want to get the most out of this, but I don't want to spend all my (precious) money on acupuncture when we're already going to a lot of expensive extremes.

 

What advice can you give me about the minimum​ number of acupuncture treatments that I should have to see a benefit? When is the most important part of my IVF cycle to receive acupuncture?

 

thanks.



#2 amp77

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:30 AM

I am not the Dr but I have seen many different types of advice from different acupuncturists on there.  Mine recommends 2-3 cycles of acupuncture prior to the cycle and they start (I think) on day 5 of your cycle and then it is every 2-3 days until ovulation and then you wait until next cycle.  So I would go a total of 3-4 times per cycle.  I have done 3 IVF cycles and did acupuncture for 2 of them and got pregnant on those two cycles.  Not saying that is why or if it helped but that was the protocol the acupuncturist I went to used.  Also, the day of transfer I did two treatments (one right before transfer and one right after and he came right to the clinic for it).

 

Wishing you luck!!!


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Age 39, DH 43 in Oct.

TTC on and off since 2007 before our second IVF, in 2014, brought us our beautiful son.

 

FET #1 -  Sept 2016

Day 1 - Sept. 9

Monitoring - Sept. 18-22

Lining Check - Sept. 22 (11.3 mm)

Transferred 5B-BB Sept. 25 - BFP!!!  HCG 890 @ 12dp5dt and Progesterone 95.
Midwife appointment Sept. 19 and first ultrasound Nov. 4
3 Frosties left

 

<a href="https://lilypie.com/"><img src="https://lbdf.lilypie.com/9GKrm4.png" width="400" height="80" border="0" alt="Lilypie Pregnancy tickers" /></a>

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Seems like forever ago...

 

Age 37, DH 40.

TTC on and off since 2007

Unexplained Infertility

 

IVF #1 - April 2014 - BFN - no frosties

 

IVF #2 - July 2014 - BFP - 5B-AB and 4 frosties (5B-BB, 2x4B-BB and 3B-BB)

Apr. 13, 2015 - Daniel Erik was born at 5:05 am, weight 8 lbs, 13 oz, and 22" long.  He is perfect in every way.

 

 


#3 Murried

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:28 AM

Hi Hillary, I think they recommend 2-3 cycles before. If you are looking to increase egg quality but are limited in terms of what you can afford, then you are best to focus on the first half of your cycle leading up to egg retrieval. You can also ask if they have a package, which may reduce the cost by a little. coQ10 is also known to help with egg quality as well.


TTC since January 2013

 

July 2016 - IVF Cycle, Antagonist Protocol. 125 gonal F

15 eggs retrieved, 14 mature, 8 fertilized, Freeze all due to OHSS - 4, day 5 frosties

 

Sept 2016 - Mock Cycle 

Oct. 2016 -  Mock Cycle, repeat for P4 levels

 

Natural Cycle FET #1 - Dec. 17th 2016 - BFN

 

Natural Cycle FET #2 - Mar. 12th 2017 - BFP

 

 


#4 hs4816

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:01 AM

Talk to your accupuncturist so he can tell you which are most important to him. They have different opinions and protocols too.

I'm 39 with endo

 

IVF #1: March 2016: Long protocol: Suprefact (200)/Menopur (225)

    9 follicles => 4 eggs => 3 mature => 3 fertilized (ICSI) => 2 blasts (one transferred, one frozen)

    BFN

 

IVF #2: June 2016: Microdose flare: Suprefact (40 BID)/Menopur (150)/ Gonal (300)

     7-10 follicles (?) => 12 mature eggs => only 4 fertilized w/ICSI => transferred 2 @ 3days and 1 blast frozen

     BFP:  day 14 beta = 93, day 18 beta 557 (37h doubling time)

     Ultrasound July 21 = single, live intrauterine pregnancy

     .... so hopeful it sticks!

 

 

 


#5 2Brides

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:19 AM

I have heard so many women rave about how beneficial acupuncture is for their cycle. And if I wasn't so afraid of needles, I would try it as well!! But don't think that if you cannot go as often as they recommend that you are hurting your cycle or that you will be setting yourself up for failure. I have never been and I've still been lucky enough to have great success with IVF and FETs. So they may be icing on the cake, but it isn't critical to having success. I know IVF is super stressful and ever little thing seems so important and like it is make or break, but a lot of women find success without doing all the tips and recommendations. I just wanted to ease your mind. ☺
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2012: My Pregnancy/ IVF/ (DW was the Egg Donor)

Henry Clyde arrives April 25, 2013! 💙

 

2014: DW's turn at Pregnancy/Unmedicated FET/( I was the Egg Donor)

Mae Alana arrives August 31, 2015 💗

 

2017: Try for baby #3 (My turn again...)

January FET (Natural): BFN

February FET (Medicated): BFP!

Feb 24- 8dp5dt Beta: 171, 2nd beta at 15dp5dt: 4730
April 13: Bloodwork reveal we are having a baby GIRL!💗

 

See my About Me for more details of our journey.


#6 schlepp

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:21 PM

If you're in Toronto there is a place called Toronto Community Acupuncture. It isn't the same one-on-one care but it is much cheaper as it is done in a communal setting and the payments are sliding scale. You still get receipts for reimbursement and the acupuncturists have all of their credentials. Maybe you could alternate that in with your regular acupuncture appointments. 


See my 'about me' page for treatment history.


#7 Hilary

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

Thanks for all your replies. I hope that Dr. Brown will weigh in also.

 

I will definitely talk to my doctor the next time that I go in, but I also know that he wants my business and will likely discourage me from cutting down on treatments. I'm glad to have a baseline idea of what other people do instead of thinking that it's all or nothing when they set up my treatment plan.

 

I grew up near Toronto (north of Whitby) but now live in southern Alberta. It's a bit of a kick in the pants as we have no government funding for infertility in this province and nothing as cool as a sliding scale for acupuncture that I've ever seen. I'm glad that such a thing exists for the people who live nearby.



#8 Hilary

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:22 PM

And, of course you're right 2Brides, that the minimum amount of acupuncture is ZERO! Thanks for the reminder that I don't have to do it at all and that any little bit can be helpful.


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#9 schlepp

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 03:15 PM

And, of course you're right 2Brides, that the minimum amount of acupuncture is ZERO! Thanks for the reminder that I don't have to do it at all and that any little bit can be helpful.

This so true. I tried to add in another supplement and never got going on it. I finally had to admit to the acupuncturist that recommended it that I'm on a schedule of taking pills 3 times a day, a tea twice a day, pomegranate juice and then a powdered drink twice a day. I just couldn't do another separate tea twice a day. The stress is not great for the whole process so you have to pick where you are going to put your focus. 


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See my 'about me' page for treatment history.


#10 ndo_inwaiting

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 05:58 PM

My acupuncturist recommended once per week. The answer prob depends on if you are doing ivf or frozen transfer, iui or trying naturallyandreally what you can afford to do. If you are doing Ivf/frozen transfer, the most important time is within a day before and then within a day after transfer and if you can do some treatments over the couple months before that would be great, especially if doing fresh Ivf cycle as an help with egg quality. i have been doing Ivf over almost a six year period and could not afford (financially or the time) to do acupuncture twice a week so would do what I could - tried for every second week for the couple cycles before transfer and then weekly closer to cycle and then did the before and after transfer acupuncture.
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#11 Dr. Brown FABORM

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 01:29 PM

Hi Hilary

 

There are so many options available to us that can optimize our our fertility and support an IVF cycle.

 

I was reminded, after reading The Telomere Effect, how important diet, lifestyle, coping with stress and healthy social relationships are in allowing our cells (including egg and sperm cells) to flourish.    Chinese medicine is not just acupuncture but also diet, lifestyle (rest, sleep, exercise), stress reduction and herbs.  I know the question is about acupuncture but I want to remind all the readers how important your daily activities (diet, lifestyle, stress, relationships) can impact your fertility potential.

 

I want to separate the question from how much you can afford to how much has been shown to be beneficial.  I will leave it to each of you to decide how much you want to spend on IVF, herbs, acupuncture, groceries, etc and stay focused on what works.  Then you can decide if the value id there and if you can afford to use it or not.

 

This question  comes at a good timing as I am leaving next week to teach at a conference in Tel Aviv on acupuncture protocols to optimize fertility whether TTC naturally or with IVF.  So the current research is at top of mind right now.  Plus I will share below some new research I came across on using cold laser (LLLT) for "severe infertility"  during the cycles (not just on transfer day) and which we are fortunate to offer at Acubalance because we happen to own 3 of these lasers that can

 

How many times for acupuncture?

 

Acupuncture is dosage dependent.  The research indicates receiving acupuncture over 3 cycles is most beneficial.   The IVF studies (fresh and frozen) show a higher live birth rate when done 9-12 session before transfer.    Lee Hullender Rubin's retrospective study showed an increase in the odds of a live birth when a whole systems traditional Chinese medicine approach (WSTCM) was followed compared to acupuncture only on transfer day or IVF only (no acupuncture). 

 

WSTCM included a min of 12 acupuncture visits PLUS duet and or supplements and or herbs and or mind body.   You may notice this sounds a lot like what I described above as the definition of Chinese medicine.  More importantly,  Hullender-Rubin's study is how most practitioners practice which makes it valuable.  Many studies just look at the acupuncture.   Her study looked at who acupuncture is practiced and it showed a significant increase in the odds ratio of a live birth.

 

How acupuncture helps

 

 
1.Increases blood flow to reproductive system
Ovaries
Uterine lining
2.Reducing stress
3.Regulate hormones
4.Improves sperm quality and quantity
5.Increases live birth rates for ART
(IVF/FET/Donor egg cycles)

 

 

Now here is some exciting information that is new for me.  At Acubalance we have a cold laser that we use on transfer day.  An abstract was published showing a 15% increase in implantation.  This part is not new as we have been offering this since 2009.  During my preparation for mt Te l Aviv talk I came across some literature and research in using the laser to treat severe infertility.   One study demonstrated a 22% pregnancy rate and 50% live birth rate in this challenging population of 'severe infertility'.  The study protocol was repeated  but with a stronger laser and they also applied the laser in one more treatment area in addition to the original study and saw 66% success rate.    I will be using my laser more often in clinic now.   One note on lasers.  They are not all created equal.  Power and wave length matter.   My laser is $18,000.  My colleague consulted with this week as she wanted to use her $300 laser on her infertility patients.   Based on the power she would need to hold the laser for at least 30 minutes on each point.  Not practical or going to happen as the protocol in study one would take her over 3 hours per patient and over a day in a study two with her laser.  

 

If you want to reach your peak fertility potential and use acupuncture to increase your chances of success for  a healthy baby then I suggest the following.

 

  • Follow a fertility diet - anti-inflammatory/low glycemic whole foods diet  - http://acubalance.ca...-fertility-diet
  • If your practitioner is skilled in Chinese herbs take them
  • practice mind body stress reduction techniques
  • Work on healthy social relationships (family, friends, neighbors and work)
  • acupuncture  2/week for 3 months.
  • If they have a laser (powerful enough to provide you the Joules in under an hour) then ask for it.   We are now using it at Acubalance. 
  • Read book Telomere Effect   (It validates what Chinese medicine documented 2500 years about diet and lifestyle and only now validated by modern science.
  • Read http://acupuncturepr...ve-egg-quality/
  • watch 5 minute video on Acubalance egg quality page  - http://acubalance.ca...ent/egg-quality

 

What if you are just starting stimulation drugs or your retrieval transfer is less then 3 months away?

 

Do what you can.  Acupuncture alone is not the answer. You also need diet, lifestyle etc.   Look at this way when thinking about how much acupuncture.  If you found out you had an exam in 2 weeks do you study hard and try to pass and even ace the exam or do you choose not to study and take the exam and hope for the best?   Studying 2-3 times week for 3 months  usually will get you a better grade than cramming 2 weeks before.  But cramming 2 weeks before is better than not doing an exam prep at all.  So if you are reading this and you have an IVF coming up soon and you want acupuncture then see if you can go 2-3 per week until retrieval/transfer. 

 

In summary acupuncture, Chinese herbs and LLLT Cold laser can help by

  • Increase blood supply (oxygen and nutrients) to the follicles with electro acupuncture
  • Increase mitochondrial ATP output with certain Chinese herbs and low level laser light
  • Enhance antioxidant defences with certain Chinese herbs and low level laser light.

 

And 2Brides.....If you have a fear of needles.... there is always cold laser instead of needles.   At Acubalance we now use both but we have some patients who do not like needles and just get the laser.

 

 

Good luck everyone.  I wish you were all in Vancouver so m and my team could offer you more support.

 

Lorne

www.acubalance.ca

www.ifsymposium.com


Lorne Brown B.Sc.,CA, Dr.TCM, FABORM, CHt
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Founder and Clinical Director Acubalance Wellness Centre (British Columbia)
www.acubalance.ca
www.ifsymposium.com
604-678-8600

#12 Hilary

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:25 PM

At last visit, my doctor told me that the most important times are immediately before and after transfer (same day if possible) and 5 days after transfer. So those three treatments will be my focus and then I'll go a few times in addition to those as time and finances allow.



#13 Dr. Brown FABORM

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:16 PM

Most important, based on research is leading up to transfer.    Still beneficial to have it before and after transfer.  

 

Wishing you an easy transfer Hilary.   Remember many women use IVF without acupuncture and have healthy babies.  So adding a few acupuncture treatments is a great way to help you relax and increase your chances.

 

Lorne


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Lorne Brown B.Sc.,CA, Dr.TCM, FABORM, CHt
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Founder and Clinical Director Acubalance Wellness Centre (British Columbia)
www.acubalance.ca
www.ifsymposium.com
604-678-8600