IVF / IUI Support

In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are two of the most common treatments for infertility and can help a couple to conceive. Many couples just starting out with fertility treatments will often choose IUI because it is a simpler procedure and is less invasive than IVF. IUI involves the insertion of the sperm directly into the uterus during the time of ovulation, the time of highest fertility. IUI can be done with a medicated cycle of fertility drugs or it can be done naturally. IVF is a more complicated procedure and involves multiple steps and procedures. IVF uses fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries. The patient will then be scheduled for an egg retrieval procedure. Once egg retrieval is done, the egg can be fertilized in a lab and the embryo can be incubated. Once embryos are ready they are then implanted in a woman’s uterus.

What is the success rate of IVF and IUI?

There are a variety of variables that can help determine the success rate of both IVF and IUI. A woman’s age and reason for infertility can all play a factor in how successful these procedures are. When IUI is performed on a woman under 35, she has a 10 to 15 percent chance of getting pregnant. When IVF is performed on a woman under 35, using her own eggs, she has a 45-50 percent chance of pregnancy taking. After the age of 35, the success rate for both IUI and IVF declines.

IVF vs. IUI

IUI is about a tenth of the cost of IVF when the cost is a consideration many people opt for IUI. While one round of IUI is less expensive than IVF, it often takes multiple rounds of IUI to get pregnant, so it may be more expensive in the long run. Time is also a consideration for many women trying to get pregnant. Age is an important factor while trying to get pregnant, so many women opt to go straight to IVF to avoid multiple failed attempts of IUI.

How can acupuncture help support fertility treatments?

Acupuncture can be very effective in helping couples to conceive naturally and increase the chances of a positive outcome while used in combination with infertility treatments. In fact, many fertility specialists will recommend acupuncture while patients are undergoing IVF or IUI. Acupuncture can help to improve blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, which many improve reprove their response to the stimulation of infertility treatments. Acupuncture can also improve the thickness of the uterine lining, which may increase the likelihood of implantation. Acupuncture can help decrease uterine cramping, which may increase implantation while decreasing the chances of miscarriage. Acupuncture has also been shown to regulate reproductive hormones, improving luteinizing hormone and progesterone production. It can also help to reduce stress levels by decreasing cortisol, which may also increase the chances of a woman becoming pregnant both naturally and through assisted infertility treatments.

How effective is acupuncture for IVF/IUI?

There is research to support that acupuncture is effective at increasing a positive outcome for infertility treatments such as IVF and IUI. In a study published in April of 2002 by the reproductive journal, Fertility and Sterility, German researchers reported that acupuncture used in combination with IVF treatments greatly increased the likelihood of successful pregnancy. In the study, one group of 80 women were given two 25 minutes acupuncture sessions, one before implantation and one after. Another group of 80 women was given no acupuncture before or after implantation. The results showed that while women in both groups did get pregnant, the percentage was much higher in the acupuncture group with 34 pregnancies compared with only 21 in the non-acupuncture group.

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