Acupuncture & fertility: how long does it take to work?
You know the clock is ticking, but are not quite sure if you are ready for a $20,000 IVF cycle that you are told yields less than 50% chance of success.
Or maybe you just prefer to take an all-natural approach and see what happens.
Women often come into my acupuncture clinic and ask: how long will it take for acupuncture to get me pregnant?
Well, nothing is ever guaranteed, but let's have a look.
What are your chances of getting pregnant ?
A healthy, 30-year-old woman has only a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month.
It is normal and expected for it to take a few months, even when every other factor works optimally. As you age, the chances of getting pregnant each cycle decline.
Your chances of conceiving each cycle you try are:
25% to 30% if you’re under 35
8 to 15 percent if you’re 35 to 39
5% if you’re 40 to 42
1-2% percent at age 43.
As far as IVF goes, In the United States, the live birth rate for each IVF cycle started is approximately as follows:
41-43% for women under age 35.
33-36% for women ages 35 to 37.
23-27% for women ages 38 to 40.
13-18% for women ages over 40.
So, we are looking at already looking at a timeline in months. Usually, women who come to acupuncture already struggle with underlying conditions, such as PCOS, endometriosis, or have a history of miscarriages. All of these need time to get regulated.
The fertility & acupuncture timeline : slow and consistent
The positive effects of acupuncture can usually be felt right away on the treatment table: a sensation of well being and grounding, reduced pain if there is any. Acupuncture is also a cumulative medicine, meaning the more you do it, the deeper it reaches into the root of your condition.
Preparing the soil & Building foundational habits : 2 months
When it comes to fertility, even the healthiest of couples know there are a few measures to implement: stop smoking, stop drinking, take prenatal vitamins... These lifestyle factors have a tremendous impact on fertility, and will be discussed in a consultation.
If you are aged 35 or over, lifestyle changes become even more important, because the quality and quantity of eggs available are already declining.
During the first 2 months of weekly or biweekly acupuncture and herbs, we will work together to help you in foundational habits:
optimizing nutrition for fertility (see our egg quality diet and our article on seed cycling)
cutting caffeine (see why here)
tracking ovulation, fertile mucus (see article here) and body basal temperature
incorporating herbs and supplements in your daily regimen
It is crucial that you be as compliant as possible, to increase your chances each cycle.
Regulating cycles and hormones : 3 to 6 months
We will address the length and regularity of your menstrual cycle, as it reveals a lot about your fertility potential.
If your hormones are out of balance, the process of releasing the best egg is compromised.
Patients who come consistently and take their custom-made herbal formula daily report improvement in PMS, regularity of cycle, period pain, and so on usually within the first 3 months.
Improving egg reserve & egg quality: 1 year
It takes a full 365 days to fully develop a follicle. Women with low ovarian reserve or PCOS (read here) can expect six months to a year of treatment in order to ensure that the highest quality egg is selected, and that the process of maturation is smooth.
What about sperm quality ?
Of course with that said sperm quality and counts should always be checked before the process of treatment begins.
See our article: male fertility
I don't have a year before my IVF, what do I do?
You should still get acupuncture, as soon as possible. Any amount of acupuncture is better than none.
There are protocols where a patient just gets acupuncture on the day of her embryo transfer, and taproot can help you with that too. However, multiple studies have shown that with extra upstream preparation, your chances of success increase. Learn more in our article: benefits of acupuncture for IVF
No matter where you are in your fertility, pregnancy & mothering journey,
if you need support, we can help.
In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Los Angeles- Pasadena area community to help you
find the right integrative and holistic care for you.
On our website, you can learn more about our services, and book an appointment.
If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.