Gynaecology and Fertility
Infertility usually refers to when a couple have been unable to conceive after 12 months. Infertility affects about 15 in every 100 Australian couples of reproductive age. There are many causes of infertility. For about 2 in 5 couples it will be due to a sperm problem; in another 2 in 5 couples, there will be a problem with the woman’s reproductive system. Sometimes it will be due to a combination of factors, or there will be no apparent cause (Healthdirect.gov 2016).
Women are starting families a lot later in life due to their busy lifestyles. We understand that the stress of trying to fall pregnant can take its toll on the body. Many women are having more difficulties trying to conceive naturally now than ever before.
Female fertility may be affected by:
Male fertility may be affected by:
- problems with the tubes that connect to the testes
- low sperm production
- high numbers of abnormal sperm
- genetic problems
- problems with the sperm DNA
Other facts about women, age and fertility for chances of getting pregnant are:
- Starting at about age 32, a woman’s chances of conceiving decrease gradually but significantly.
- From age 35, a woman’s fertility decline speeds up.
- By age 40, fertility has fallen by half.
- At age 25, only five per cent of women take more than a year to conceive.
- For women aged 35, this figure rises to 30 per cent.
Acupuncture and IVF Support
Over the past decade, researchers have worked to improve the success rates of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). This has been achieved through improving embryo and egg quality and the uterine environment, as this assists with embryo implantation success.
Several clinical trials have discovered that IVF acupuncture works well alongside ART, increasing the success rates of women who are undergoing IVF treatment. “Although earlier systematic reviews found that evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture used to support IVF or other assisted reproductive technology was “unclear”, a more recent systematic review (Qian. Y, et al 2017) found that “Based on an analysis of the studies, acupuncture improves the CPR [clinical pregnancy rate] among women undergoing IVF.”
Acupuncture may increase the clinical pregnancy rate and ongoing pregnancy rate and decrease the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in women with PCOS undergoing IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Jo 2017 – Systematic Review of 4 RCTs & MA)(120).
Many health practitioners recommend acupuncture as an adjunct treatment that may assist and complement IVF treatment. There is continuing research about how acupuncture can assist with the effectiveness of IVF treatment.
Eli has a particular interest in working with clients with fertility issues, contact her today to find out how acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treatments may be able to support you.