This is a terrific question. I got an email today from a woman, she’s not my patient but she just had a question for me. She said that she’d done two IVFs and had acupuncture right before the transfer and both IVFs failed. What you don’t want to do is just do acupuncture pre-transfer or pre- and post-embryo transfer? Acupuncture is a process-oriented modality. How many of you that are listening go to the gym? If any of you go to the gym, I would put to you for your consideration that you don’t go to the gym once a week. You probably go to the gym 2-5 times a week. It could be two times, it could be three times. More is better when you go to the gym.
What if, God forbid, you’re in a car accident and you bust up your shoulder. You get surgery on your shoulder, you can’t move your shoulder, you have to go to physical therapy. You’re not going to go to physical therapy once a week, of that I can assure you. You’re going to go to physical therapy five times a week and then four times a week and three times a week for several months to have a full range of motion and a reduction in pain. More is better.
Acupuncture is a process-oriented modality. Under the care of myself, for example, my job is to improve the egg quality, the lining quality or the sperm quality and that takes time. The best-case scenario is to be treated three months in advance of a retrieval. It doesn’t often work that way when a patient will call me and say listen I’m doing a transfer next week and I want to start acupuncture. My response to the patient is that’s fine, don’t worry, come in tomorrow and start and you’re going to have your transfer next week. I’m going to treat you today, twice this week, pre- and post-embryo transfer and then I’m going to treat you after the transfer. If you’re pregnant after the transfer, wonderful, I’m going to treat you twice a week for 13 weeks to help prevent miscarriage because 90% of miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks.
If God forbids, the cycle fails, that’s awful, but, remember, we’ve already started the acupuncture even way before a week before your transfer. We’ve already started to stimulate blood flow to the ovaries to help improve the egg quality, the lining quality and the uterus. Now your cycle has failed, we’re going to continue to treat you twice a week until the next transfer, then you’ll get pregnant, possibly, hopefully, God willing, then I treat you twice a week for thirteen weeks, then I say goodbye, good luck, send me a photograph of the baby or better yet bring the kid in so I can give him or her a kiss. So I hope that I was able to give you some answers in a convoluted way.