Let’s say you are 33 years old and you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for eight months. You went to your doctor and he or she said that you can’t start ART (alternative reproductive technology) until you have been trying for at least 12 months. Why? Many insurance companies who cover ART will not pay for these costly procedures for women under 35 until they have been actively trying for a year.
What is a girl to do? At this point, many women start to consider Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine as a way to help them get pregnant before the 12 month mark. I see this all the time in my clinic. During the initial appointment, I am often asked “If I don’t get pregnant with acupuncture in the next 3-4 months, what is the point of paying for this if insurance will pay for IVF in a few months?”. Good question. My typical client is a woman who is smart, educated and a savvy consumer about her fertility options.
Acupuncture and IVF are NOT mutually exclusive. Under good circumstances, it can take a woman 90 days to optimize her fertility and get pregnant naturally with the help of acupuncture. A lot of times, it can take even longer. BUT, in the ideal world, my IVf clients would do acupuncture for at least 3 months before their next IVF cycle (although this often doesn’t happen).
Girlfriend, this is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY. Let’s say you start acupuncture today. You and your acupuncturist work together to regulate your cycles, reduce stress, and increase blood flow to your uterus and ovaries. By the time insurance will pay for IVF or an IUI, you may already be pregnant. If not, it is more than likely that you will respond to the stim meds for IVF like a rockstar. Seriously. My clients who have had failed IVFs, take time out (1-3 months) to do acupuncture and then have another IVF cycle, usually respond during the IVF process with more follicles at retrieval and/or higher quality of follicles. Not always, but more often than not. I see this over and over in my clinic. Not to mention, my clients who have done a few months of acupuncture usually experience less symptoms during their first trimester. That means less nausea, less vomiting, less fatigue, less headaches, and less breast tenderness. Awesome!
Don’t over think this. This is a win-win. If you are able to pursue fertility acupuncture treatment, do it. You will either have a positive pregnancy test in a few short months, or your body will be fully prepared for your upcoming IVF cycle. Good luck and let me know if you have been in this situation. I would love to hear from you!