Yenching Julie Hung, a Board Certified Fellow Specialist in Oriental Reproductive Medicine, specializes in IVF/IUI Support, Infertility Treatment, Fertility Enhancement, Reproductive Health, Women’s Health, Migraine, Sciatica, and Pain Healing. Julie Hung, a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), provides Acupuncture therapy and oriental reproductive herbal medicine to help natural conception and boost IVF success rate in the Sunnyvale, San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Fremont, Cupertino, Los Altos, Campbell, San Mateo, Foster City, Portola Valley, San  Ramon, Pleasanton, Los Gatos, and Silicon Valley San Francisco Bay area.
Q: How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treat Infertility and/or Raises IVF Success Rates?

A: There have been a multitude of research studies in the past decade confirming Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have the following potential fertility-boosting benefits:

Improves the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs.
Regulates the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles.
Lessens side effects from hormone treatments or drugs used in IVF.
Balances endocrine systems.
Combats polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Impacts on plasma levels of the fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and progesterone.
Normalizes the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which plays a key role in fertility.
Regulates menstrual cycle.
Improves blood flow in pelvic cavity.
Increases the blood flow to the uterus and increases the thickness of the uterine lining, which improves the chances of an ovum implanting on the uterine wall.
Relaxes the patient, reduces anxiety and stress, and promotes relaxation.
Prevents uterine contractions.
Strengthens and regulates the immune system.
Decreases the chance of miscarriage.
Reduces pre-menstrual symptoms and pains during the period.
Improves male sperm count, motility and morphology.
Enhances general health.

Q: What types of infertility respond best to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine?

A: Good candidates for acupuncture and herbal medicine are people who have a functional, rather than structural reason for infertility.
Infertility due to irregular ovulation, mild endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, amenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irregular menstruation, stress and age related factors all fall into the category of functional infertility. In addition, slightly low sperm counts of men can take the benefits from Acupuncture and Chinese medicine as well.
Stress can dramatically decrease fertility in both men and women. Acupuncture increases fertility by reducing stress.
However, in certain cases of infertility, especially both of the patient’s fallopian tubes are blocked; IVF would be recommended as the primary treatment with support from acupuncture.

Q: My fertility doctor doesn’t want me to take herbs during my IVF cycle, will the acupuncture alone be effective?

A: While no treatment is 100% guaranteed, acupuncture without Chinese herbal medicine can still be quite effective.
A Germany study published in 2002 shows that acupuncture dramatically raises IVF success rates for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Researchers included 160 patients undergoing IVF for the study. The patients, who were all required to have good quality embryos, were evenly and randomly divided into two groups similar in age and diagnosis.
Clinical pregnancies, the presence of a fetal sac during an ultrasound examination 6 weeks after embryo transfer,  were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

In 2008, a research published in British Medical Journal (BMJ) confirmed that the effects of adjuvant acupuncture on in vitro fertilization are significant and clinically relevant. The results from seven studies on 1,366 women from four countries who were undergoing IVF showed a 65% increase in establishment of pregnancy, an 87% increase in continuing pregnancy, and a 91% increase in live births.

At our clinic, we often will combine herbal medicine with acupuncture if we can see the patient prior to the start of taking oral contraceptive pills. After that point, the herbs can be discontinued and only acupuncture will be used. Many IVF clinics ask their patients to avoid herbs during a stimulated cycle, which is good advice considering the strong medications that are circulating in the patient’s body. Therefore, acupuncture combining herbal medicine treatment is recommended at least three months before the beginning of the next IUI or IVF cycle.

Q: How Acupuncture can help throughout the IVF cycle?

A: Three months or more prior to cycle, the Acupuncture and herbal treatment is used to improve the egg quality and regulate hormones.  The father can be benefit on improving semen quality.
When the women is undergoing the IVF cycle, the acupuncture treatment can help increasing the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs and improving the quality of the uterine environment by relaxing uterine muscles and thickening uterine lining.

Q: Should my partner be undergoing acupuncture and herbal treatment as well?

A: High quality sperm is one of the main factors regarding good embryos.  As it takes about 3 months for sperm to mature, men are usually recommended to begin treatment as early as possible to improve male sperm count, motility and morphology. Acupuncture can also assist both partners by decreasing stress and promoting relaxation during IVF treatment.

Legal Disclaimer Notice: The information provided on this web site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.  The information on this site should not be used for diagnosis, prescription, or treatment of any health problem and/or medication.
1208 East ARQUES Ave. #104
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Tel: (408) 745-1780
Yenching Julie Hung, L.Ac.,FABORM

Certified Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
Licensed Acupuncturist
National Taiwan University Master Degree
Embryologist in Infertility Center, Yuan General Hospital, Taiwan
Herbs Researcher in Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Co., Taiwan
Acupuncturist in Wu’s Oriental Medical Clinic, Taiwan
Member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM)
Professional Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
Infertility Treatment and IVF Support