IVF Acupuncture – Ensuring the Future through Assisted Reproductive Technology

acupuncture for pregnancyPregnancy is a privilege that only women enjoy.     In fact, getting pregnant symbolizes womanhood. It is something that only naturally-born women are fully equipped to do. From the time they are able to have their very first menstruation until such time it ceases, women have the capacity to bear children.

Unfortunately, there are women who are having difficulty conceiving. It is not so much because they don’t want to but somehow the many stresses in today’s life have taken its toll on the ability of the female human body to conceive. In addition to stress, the food that is eaten as well as the other substances that are introduced into the body can also bring about a variety of problems that lead to infertility. And when it comes to being a woman unable to get pregnant or conceive a child, society looks on both couples as being less useful in the growth of human society.

The wonder of today’s technology now allows women who have problems getting pregnant to be able to carry on a pregnancy through the most unnatural of ways. For some women, however, in order to increase the chances of getting pregnant, they do seek IVF acupuncture such as those provided by the Freedom Chinese Medicine.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF for short, has been extensively used by many obstetricians in helping women conceive. The idea is to harvest mature egg cells from the woman’s ovaries and bring these to the laboratory where sperm cells from her partner are injected right into the mature egg cells. Medical professionals will typically wait several days just to make sure that fertilization did occur. Once this has been ascertained, the fertilized ovum, now called an embryo, is then implanted onto the wall of the woman’s uterus where it will stay for about 37-39 weeks until delivery. It is also possible that the sperm cells used to fertilize the egg cell are not from the woman’s partner but from somebody else. More often than not, these will be supplied by a sperm bank. In some cases, both the egg cell and the sperm cells are not from the couple who wish to have a child. And in even more unusual cases is when a pregnant mother wishes to remove the embryo growing inside her uterus and have it transferred to another woman who will then continue the pregnancy. While this is quite controversial, it is nonetheless practiced in certain parts of the world where surrogate motherhood is advocated.

But just how does acupuncture fit into all of these?

While IVF ensures egg cell fertilization prior to uterine implantation, it is still the uterus that will carry the fetus until viability. This requires an excellent supply of oxygen and nutrients to the uterus in order to maintain the viability of the embryo and the developing fetus. Additionally, the correct levels of hormones must be present in order to maintain the integrity of the uterus. If this is not ascertained, then it is quite impossible to maintain the attachment of the fetus onto the uterus. This can lead to premature separation of the placenta leading to abortion in the early stages of pregnancy or even miscarriage in later stages of the pregnancy.

Acupuncture helps by establishing adequate blood flow to the uterus. These long and very slender needles stimulate nerve endings present in the superficial dermatomes to send signals to the brain. This balances hormonal levels as well as improves the flow and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus as well as help facilitate the removal of metabolic waste products from the fetus. Of course, in acupuncture, they don’t explain it this way. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners hold the belief that the body is made up of energy. When this energy is blocked, diseases or health conditions arise. While a developing fetus in the uterus is not essentially a disease per se, it nevertheless leads to a change in the balance of energy flows. Acupuncture reestablishes this balance and helps maintain the viability of the fetus as well as the integrity of the uterus.

In cases where the IVF will require harvesting of mature egg cells from the woman herself, acupuncture can help too, by improving oxygenation and nutrition to the ovaries so that the egg cells harvested for IVF are really healthy and mature. If not, then IVF will still fail simply because the starting cell is not healthy to begin with.

Science may have negated the power of acupuncture however, Chinese medicine has never stopped using this practice for the reason that a number of patients have found it effective. In reality, more and more women are resorting to IVF in order to get pregnant. One way to improve the chances of getting pregnant is by including acupuncture in the IVF treatment. For as long as the procedure is administered by a specialist, results are expected to be more successful.

Christina Hoover

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