I came across an interesting article in the Mail Online the other day (04/07/16) about the use of acupuncture during IVF treatment. Having used acupuncture for two of my cycles, one of which didn’t work, one of which did, I think I may sit on the fence about this particular claim.
Apparently the use of acupuncture can double the chances of getting pregnant. The results of the research were certainly quite impressive. Whether such difference was as a result of the acupuncture itself or more to do with the psychological effects and body relaxation during the sessions, from a future patient’s perspective it will be utterly irrelevant.
I’ve mentioned many, many times before how IVF has the propensity to take over your life, and neither your mind nor body seem to be your own anymore. It is entirely possible for a patient to believe that any ‘old wive’s tale’ treatment will increase your chances, hence my dalliance with Western herbalism (which I found was a complete waste of both time and money). Acupuncture though, did seem more plausible to me, and there is some scientific evidence to suggest it can be useful for some health conditions (The Cochrane Collaboration). Despite it not making any difference during my first sessions, it didn’t put me off trying again for my last IVF attempt. What I will say is that I felt completely different on both occasions – the first treatments were done in the hospital; not an optimal environment and I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing it in that setting. The other was in a private acupuncture clinic (The London Acupuncture Clinic), which felt homely, relaxed, calm and professional. My practitioner, and Clinical Director, Daniel Elliott, was softly spoken and clearly knew his stuff. The entire staff couldn’t have been more helpful.
Whether acupuncture made a difference in my case or not will never be known, but anything that can help the mind to relax during this most difficult time can only be a good thing. Choose your practitioner wisely and acupuncture can be one weapon in your arsenal against the stomach-churning upheaval that is IVF.