By Paul C. Magarelli, MD, PhD and Diane K. Cridennda, LAc
Read the full article here.
By Magarelli PC, Cridennda DK, Cohen M.
By Paul C. Magarelli
“Most of our patients are referred to us by reproductive medicine specialists — they are usually women who have failed one or usually more than one attempt at IVF (in vitro fertilisation), and their doctor is looking for something to help implement the success of their treatment, over and above what the protocols alone can accomplish,” says Raymond Chang, MD, the medical director of Meridian Medical in the U.S. and a classically trained acupuncturist as well as western-trained medical doctor.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine treatment that relies on the painless but strategic placement of tiny needles into a “grid-like” pattern that spans the body, from head to toe. The needles are used to stimulate certain key “energy points” believed to regulate spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical balance. And, for many women, it’s often just what the doctor ordered.
“It can allow you to cross the line from infertile to fertile by helping your body function more efficiently, which in turn allows other, more modern reproductive treatments, like IVF, to also work more efficiently,” says James Dillard, MD, assistant clinical professor, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and clinical adviser to Columbia’s Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Indeed, in a study of 160 women, published April 2002 in the reproductive journal Fertility and Sterility, a group of German researchers found that adding acupuncture to the traditional IVF treatment protocols substantially increased pregnancy success.
In our clinics, fertility acupuncture treatments are designed to work with the couples to help them supplement deficiencies, improve nutritive intake and to balance internal temperature to ensure the correct incubatory climate and blood supply for a healthy womb, good sperm production, ovulatory development, leading to successful implantation and embryo development.
If you are already going through or are soon to go through assisted fertility treatment, we can use acupuncture to support you throughout the whole process due to our training, experience and understanding of the protocols.
As AFN practitioners, we are well versed in assisted protocols, we have done the post-graduate training (including from a Western Medicine perspective), and we have a clear understanding of how to use acupuncture to support your assisted cycle.
German researchers tried to determine the effect of acupuncture on assisted reproduction therapy (ART) success rates. The results were reported by a reputable journal of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine “Fertility and Sterility” in April 2002.
In the study half of the women received standard IVF. The other half were given acupuncture treatments before and after. In the acupuncture group, 42.5 percent of patients became pregnant, while in the IVF-only group, 26.3% of patients conceived.
In October 2004 another study from USA emerged, with impressive results: acupuncture before and after IVF not only considerably increased the success rates, but also substantially increased live birth rates. Furthermore, it substantially reduced risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are beneficial to help prepare your body for conception – not only natural conception but also for all aspects of assisted conception and fertility treatments.
Whatever the reason you are looking for support – if you are just at the outset of trying to conceive, if you have been trying for some time, if you are just embarking down the assisted pathway, or if you may have had multiple assisted experiences – acupuncture support can be an excellent way to bring you into a better state of health for conception and gestation, optimising your body for pregnancy and childbirth.
The Acupuncture Fertility Network (AFN) is the body that oversees the qualifications and registration of “fertility acupuncturists”, ensuring that when you get treatment from an AFN registered practitioner, you will get the up-to-date support for your journey.
In order to become registered members of the AFN, we had to undertake foundation post-graduate training for integrated fertility treatment and support. We have both trained with renowned lecturers Jani White, Debra Betts, Jane Lyttleton and Sarah Budd in gynaecology, endocrinology, male and female fertility treatment, pregnancy, childbirth and obstetrics.
That training was to ensure that we have full understanding of western medicine protocols and treatments, as well as fertility treatment procedures, with clear scope of practice for all aspects of assisted conception and pregnancy.
Fertility Acupuncture is a specialised area of acupuncture and TCM treatment. As a patient, always make sure that you get the most up-to-date support, treatment and advice – especially when it comes to such complex treatment protocols.
Siobhan Seville and Sandro Graca are fully qualified and recognised members of the AFN. For the list of qualified practitioners, please click here.
Membership to the Acupuncture Fertility Network indicates a special interest in the use of traditional acupuncture in the treatment of fertility. AFN practitioners have done a minimum of 14 hours integrated training in gynaecology, with a specific emphasis on training to support assisted protocols.
AFN membership denotes a commitment to ongoing post graduate study in the areas of gynaecology and fertility, working to maintain an updated understanding of current treatment practices.
AFN members are practitioners who have chosen to also undertake study specific to assisted conception and had integrated training.
The National Infertility Support and Information Group, a voluntary organisation, was established in 1996 by a group of dedicated people who needed and wanted to be in contact with others who understood their grief.
The National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG), a voluntary organisation, was established in Cork in 1996 by a group of dedicated people who needed and wanted to be in contact with others who understood their grief.
The grief that is infertility needs to be attended to. It needs to be understood and acknowledged. That is where NISIG can help.
NISIG empowers couples to contemplate real choices to guide them through their infertility journey, offering a confidential listening ear to couples and individuals.
The NISIG is non-judgemental and multi-denominational.
Bi-monthly meetings are held throughout Ireland.
For further information contact:
Siobhán Seville is from Rathfarnham, Dublin. Being a mother of four, she was always looking for a more natural way of treating her children’s as they were growing up – which was how Siobhán came across Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Siobhán is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of TCM Ireland alongside Sandro Graca – their work and expertise has made TCM Ireland a recognised and reputable entity in the field of acupuncture for fertility, IVF enhancement and pregnancy care in Ireland.
Sandro Graca is a graduate of the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Sandro is still studying, currently doing the MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine with the Northern College of Acupuncture and Middlesex University.
Originally from Portugal, Sandro moved to Ireland in 2004 and established successful Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine clinics in Santry, Maynooth and Trim.
Sandro was the first Acupuncturist in Ireland to be granted membership of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Recently, Sandro took a position on the Board of Directors of the Obstetrical Acupuncture Association.