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What is an IUI & how can acupuncture help improve your chances ?

a couple is smiling while at the fertility doctor for a consultation

IUI stands for Intra-Uterine Insemination. It is the first medical procedure that couples who are struggling to get pregnant usually try. It is a combination of hormones to stimulate ovaries, and the insertion of prepared sperm directly into the uterus.

Less invasive than IVF, it’s also much cheaper. In cases of male factor infertility, IUI is more effective than timed intercourse.

During that time, acupuncture & herbs can help you. Let's break down how!

The rates of success vary, but on average is around 10-20% per cycle for most women.

Most couples will do 2-4 IUI cycles before additional treatment or IVF is recommended.

In cases of unexplained infertility, IUI works better than fertility drugs alone.

Benefits of acupuncture for IUI

One study out of Israel showed that women who did a combination of acupuncture & herbs during IUI cycle had a pregnancy rate of 65.5% vs 39.4% for those who did the IUI alone. Live birth rates were 41.1% in the acupuncture group vs 26.9% in the IUI alone group.

acupuncture needles for IUI on a female's stomach

Acupuncture can improve success rates of IUI by

  • increasing blood flow to the ovaries

  • relaxing the uterus making it more receptive

  • reducing uterine spasms after the IUI procedure

  • enhancing the fertility drugs

  • decreasing side effects from the medications

  • reducing stress and anxiety

Of course, adding herbs and supplements also contributes to increasing your chances. We like to remind all our fertility patients, including those going through IUI, that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Read here about how long acupuncture for fertility takes to work.

The typical acupuncture treatment for IUI

Our protocols are based off the latest research and timed according to your cycle. You can start your acupuncture journey at any moment, however here at Taproot, we recommend all of our fertility patients to go through 2-3 months of preparation.

This "pre-mester "(read) really helps prepare the soil before planting the seed.

close up of two hands cupped to hold some dirt and a seedling
  • During 2 to 3 months of acupuncture, herbs & lifestyle changes, we will be able to really increase egg quality, uterine lining and uterine health, and set the stage for a healthy pregnancy.

  • Once the IUI cycle starts, we usually see patients once a week throughout the process, though we increase the frequency if necessary.

  • We also like to work with men 1-3 months prior to the cycle to help improve sperm quality.

No matter where you are in your women's health, fertility, pregnancy & parenting 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.


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