At the Duke Fertility Center, we recognize how stressful it can be to pursue fertility treatment. Treatment can be physically demanding, expensive, time-consuming, confusing, and emotionally draining. It can impact your marriage, sex life, social relationships and focus at work.
As a result, we’ve broadened our perspective to consider your needs as a whole person. We offer a comprehensive Stress Reduction Program that includes acupuncture, support groups, individual and couples counseling and nutritional counseling. Please read on for details about our Acupunture program. For details about support groups or individual or couples therapy, please contact Julia Woodward, Ph.D., Director of our Psychological Services Program at 919-572-8853.
Raleigh-Durham Acupuncture Treatments
Are you feeling stressed by your fertility problem or its treatment? Are you interested in reducing stress and enhancing your natural relaxation response? Are you curious about alternative or complementary medicine treatment for infertility? If so, the Duke Fertility Center is pleased to offer an in-house acupuncture program for patients considering or undergoing fertility treatment.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has been used to treat fertility issues for over 3000 years. Its basic principles rely on restoring physical and emotional balance.
Tiny needles approximately the width of a cat’s whisker are inserted painlessly into the body at specific anatomical locations. The sensations patients describe range from nothing at all to a dull ache to slight tingling in the area. After about 30 minutes of deep relaxation, during which many people doze off, the needles are removed. All needles are individually packaged, sterile, and disposed of after a single use.
Who Is a Candidate for Acupuncture?
Any patient — male or female — who is considering, preparing for, or undergoing fertility treatment can engage in acupuncture. At the Duke Fertility Center we offer on-site acupuncture services on the day of embryo transfer. This includes acupuncture treatment immediately before and again immediately after the embryo transfer procedure. All treatments on this day are conducted on-sit near the transfer procedure room and coordinated with the physicians in order to ensure proper timing.
How Do I Get More Information?
- If you would like to schedule acupuncture for the day of embryo transfer, please contact us at email@example.com to let us know as soon as you can. Include your contact information and date of birth. When your retrieval date has been scheduled, please send us another email so that we know to expect your transfer a few days after that. We require at least 48 hours notice prior to the transfer in order to accommodate you.
- Cost for on-site acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer is $250 effective August 1, 2011. This fee is payable to Duke Fertility Center on the day of transfer at check-in.
- Patients do no need to do anything special for the acupuncture treatment – just bring a water bottle and prepare to relax!
- For regular sessions leading up to and during an IVF or IUI cycle, Julie and Katherine accommodate Duke Fertility patients at Triangle Acupuncture Clinic with locations in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. These sessions focus on relaxation and help to optimize your fertility. To learn more, visit www.triangleacupunctureclinic.com and to schedule an appointment call (919) 933-4480. Please note that we recommend calling at least 2-3 months prior to the start of an IVF cycle as it often takes several weeks before you can be seen for your new patient visit.
Will Acupuncture Increase My Chances of Getting Pregnant?
The amount of research on acupuncture and IVF outcomes has expanded greatly in the past decade. A meta-analysis and two Cochrance Reveiws were published within the last two years to help us interpret the data and while still pointing to the need to do more research, they show evidence of favorable results for acupuncture in conjunction with infertility treatments 1,2,3. Other research suggests that acupuncture may not have an effect on infertility treatment outcomes for all, but is helping to better define: which patients are most likely to experience fertility benefits from acupuncture (e.g., age factors and poor responders)6,7 and which acupuncture treatment factors are likely to maximize potential effects on fertility outcomes4,5. There is also a possible link between acupuncture and semen parameters9.
While definitive answers on the relationships between acupuncture and enhanced fertility are being pursued, acupuncture has been linked reliable to reduced post-surgical pain, nausea and vomiting10,11 as well as increased well-being and mood12,13. We believe that acupuncture is likely to improve both how you feel and how you cope while going through fertility treatment.
1 – Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. Manheimer E et al, BMJ 2008:336 pgs. 545-549.
2 – Acupuncture and assisted conception. Cheong Y et al, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4.
3 – Acupuncture and assisted conception. Cheong Y et al, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1.
4 – Laser Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer improves ART delivery rates. Fratterelli FL et al Fertil Steril 2008 Vol 90, Suppl 1, pg S105.
5 – Acupuncture lowers pregnancy rates when performed before and after embryo transfer. Crain L.B et al, Fertil Steril 2007 Vol 88, Suppl 1, pg S40 (this study examined acupuncture performed off-site).
6 – Acupuncture & IVF Poor Responders: A Cure? Magarelli P, Cridenna D. Fertility & Sterility 2004; 81 Suppl 3, S20.
7 – Use of Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer. Dalton-Brewer N et al, Human Fertility 2010 Vol 12 No 4, pg 212-255.
8 – Effects of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in embryo transfer and mechanisms: A randomized and controlled study. Zhang M et al, Chinese Acupuncture and Moxabustion 2003, Jan 23 (1):3-5.
9 – Pei, J, Strehler, E, Noss, Abt, M, Piomboni, P, Baccetti, B, and Sterzik, K. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility & Sterility, 2005; 84: 141-7.
10 – Gan TJ, Jiao KR, Zenn M & Georgiade, G. A randomized controlled comparison of electro-acupoint stimulation or ondansetron versus placebo for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2004; 99(4):1070-5.
11 – Sun Y, Dubose J, Gan TJ, & Habib AS. Acupuncture and Related Techniques for Acute Postoperative Pain – A Systematic Review. Anesthesiology, 2007: A1746.
12 – Mehling, WE, Jacobs, B, Acree, M, Wilson, L, Bostrom, A, West, J, Acquah, J, Burns, B, Chapman, J & Hecht, FM. Symptom management with massage and acupuncture in postoperative cancer patients: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2007; 33(3): 258-66.
13 – Nedstrand, E, Wyon, Y, Hammar, M & Wijma, K. Psychological well-being improves in women with breast cancer after treatment with applied relaxation or electro-acupuncture for vasomotor symptoms. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2006; 27(4): 193-99.