Conventional treatments are being increasingly combined with contemporary medicine to yield better results, and acupuncture combined with IUI is one such example. Acupuncture is literally thousands of years old, being a mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has been widely adopted as the primary, secondary or supplementary treatment across the world. Its prevalence among couples seeking assisted reproductive treatment in the form of IUI has commanded substantial attention.
To understand what to expect when seeking acupuncture IUI, read the following:
Acceptance and Guidance for Acupuncture IUI
Patients seeking acupuncture and IUI can look forward to being guided systematically for this combined treatment approach. This is because most infertility clinics have accepted the utility of acupuncture in assisted reproduction. This has come about largely due to acknowledgment by organizations like the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health that have expressed their support for acupuncture. Acupuncture professionals with credible certifications from organizations like the FABORM (American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine) are commonly recommended for understanding the nuances of acupuncture IUI.
It is usually seen that acupuncture sessions are planned in accordance with the IUI treatment requirements and not vice-versa. Timing is critical in IUI since the ovulation cycle is regulated in a very precise manner, and the sperm should find a ready egg, soon after being implanted. There are no definite rules for how many IUI cycles might have to be repeated for establishing successful fertilization.
Sometimes, IUI treatment involves the use of hormone treatment to induce proper egg production in the female. Many times, the ovulation is overseen through blood tests and ultrasounds. In comparison, acupuncture needs a little preparation apart from arranging for an appointment with the acupuncturist.
Though acupuncture IUI is more commonly observed among women undergoing IUI treatment, it is equally applicable for the male partner. This is because sperm samples derived from the male need to have a basic level of motility and vigor to fertilize the egg. Acupuncture sessions are often aimed at ensuring that the anxiety of the forthcoming IUI treatment, and stress induced by medical tests/medications recommended as a part of IUI treatment doesn’t hamper the hormonal health of the male patient.
Number and Nature of Acupuncture Sessions
There are no rules regarding the number of acupuncture sessions that might be needed for treating the IUI couple. Acupuncture sessions are usually started much before the actual IUI treatment session, usually three months before the scheduled date. This gives the acupuncturist ample to time to restore the flawed energy flows within the IUI couple.
Each session is essentially a process of strategically inserting fine needles upon the patient’s body to restore the energy (or Qi) balance. The duration and total number of sessions are eventually decided after understanding the underlying cause of infertility and the medical history of the IUI couple.
Extent of Acupuncture Sessions
Most male partners choose to discontinue the sessions once their sample has been successfully used. Most female patients seek the acupuncture sessions until the sperm has been implanted in their uterus. However, the sessions can be continued in a minimal manner even after this. This is to ensure that the energy balance restored during the earlier acupuncture sessions is not compromised. This is critical since heightened anxiety or a relapse of any previous medical condition can easily induce unwanted uterine contractions, menstruation irregularities or flare-up of diseases that can disrupt normal pregnancy.