In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) and various fertility treatments can take a toll on patients, both mentally and physically. In order to combat these stresses, Buffalo IVF recognizes several complementary therapies that may have benefits when combined with traditional medicine.
Acupuncture dates back 3,000 years and is based on a system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Fine needles are inserted into various parts your body to correct an imbalance in energy or “qi”. This energy flows around your body in “channels” or “meridians”.
Many doctors are skeptical about acupuncture, saying there’s little scientific evidence that it helps with infertility. However, others believe it can help by stimulating nerve and muscle tissue. Acupuncture can also help patients relax and de-stress, which is key to boosting fertility.
There’s also evidence to suggest that conception rates improved during IVF when acupuncture was performed. However, this was only true when acupuncture was performed the same day the embryos were being implanted into uterus. More studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Yoga is a powerful stress reliever, designed to make your body healthy and balanced. Yoga is also said to fight fatigue, reduces stress and anxiety. These can be barriers to fertility, so removing or reducing them is beneficial.
There are yoga classes specifically geared towards fertility and classes that incorporate fertility-boosting postures. If you’re an experienced yogi, ask your teacher for postures to do at home. It’s best to avoid intensive classes like Astanga or Bikram when you’re trying to conceive. The more calming classes like Lyengar, Hatha or Kundalini are ideal.
Meditation is a powerful set of techniques for calming and quieting the mind. Mediation synchronizes your mind and body, allowing you to focus on the primary goal.
If you believe your mind, body and spirit can work together towards a shared goal, then meditation is for you. It can also be great stress reliever, which many CAM practitioners believe is a major barrier to fertility.
There are several types and ways in which you can meditate. These types include mindfulness, incorporating music, utilizing apps, chanting, breath awareness and hand movements. More than ever, there is an abundance of resources that allow you to meditate in the comfort of your own home, even if you have just a few minutes.
Complementary therapies may be helpful in your fertility journey, but they are not a substitute for traditional medicine and technology. Talk to your provider about the best course of treatment for your individual situation.