Acupuncture is the method of inserting fine needles into very specific points on a meridian representing various organs and ailments. During an acupuncture visit, specific points on the meridian may be indicated based on either the examination and/or the condition the acupuncturist is attempting to treat. In regards to infertility, points are selected on their ability to regulate menstruation, thicken the lining of the uterus, relax the uterus, warm or dispel heat from the uterus, build blood/energy in the body, and provide stress relief – all of which are important in the treatment of infertility. The needles are used one time only, and the infertility treatments are virtually painless. While the needles are in place (for about 30 minutes), most people experience a deep sense of relaxation and usually fall asleep.
Infertility Treatment Frequency
If a patient is expecting to undergo an in vitro fertilization cycle, acupuncture treatment for infertility is recommended once or twice a week for at least one month prior to the approximate date of transfer. Optimally, on the day of the transfer, acupuncture is given 25 minutes prior to and after the transfer. Acupuncture treatment for infertility is also recommended two to three days after transfer. Patients who are undergoing intrauterine insemination can also utilize this acupuncture treatment for infertility at IVF New Jersey.
Cost of Treatment
The initial visit is approximately 1 1/2 to two hours in length. It includes a traditional Chinese medicine consultation and an infertility treatment at IVF New Jersey or the Princeton Wellness Center. The cost is $120. The follow-up infertility treatment takes up to one hour. The cost is $65. For acupuncture treatments on the day of the transfer, the total cost is $150 ($75 per treatment, before and after the transfer). A discounted rate for a series package of 6, 8, or 12 infertility treatments is available. Payment is expected at the time of your visit. It is recommended that you contact your insurance provider to verify whether acupuncture is covered under your policy. You will be given a bill that you can submit to your insurance provider. Personal checks and major credit cards are accepted.
A Study of Effectiveness for Infertility/In Vitro Fertilization
Two teams of researchers in Germany and the People’s Republic of China found that adding acupuncture to the infertility treatment regimen of women using assisted reproductive techniques to have a child can dramatically improve a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Their findings, published in the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility (Paulus W, et al. April 2002;77(4): 721-4) and widely reported in the popular press, may bring new hope to thousands of couples who would like to have children but have been dealing with infertility. Patients in both groups received hormone therapy – before and after the embryo transfer – to increase the odds of a successful pregnancy. Patients in the acupuncture group also received two acupuncture sessions: the first treatment 25 minutes before embryo transfer, and the second treatment 25 minutes after transfer.
Six weeks after the embryo transfers were performed, the women were given an ultrasound examination. In the control group, the presence of a fetal sac, the scientists’ criteria for a clinical pregnancy, was found in 21 women (26.3%). In the acupuncture group, the pregnancy rate was “considerably higher,” with 34 women (42.5%) carrying a fetal sac at the time of the examination.
“Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool” for patients looking to increase their chances of becoming pregnant following assisted reproduction therapy, the authors concluded. They added, “As we could not observe any significant differences in covariants between the acupuncture and control groups, the results demonstrate that acupuncture improves pregnancy rate.”
More research needs to be done in this area but currently, the research indicates that acupuncture may be helpful for women trying to conceive.
Mimi Vassilev Baker, Certified Acupuncturist
Mimi Vassilev Baker is a certified acupuncturist, licensed by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners. She is also a certified diplomate in acupuncture by the National Board. She has been appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to be one of nine members of the State Acupuncture Examining Board.
For eight years, Mimi dedicated her education to the health sciences. As an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, she studied biology and nutrition. After experiencing the positive results of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, she enrolled as a graduate student at the Florida College of Integrative Medicine, where she earned her Master of Oriental Medicine Degree and a second Bachelor Degree in Professional Health Studies.
In China, while interning at the Shandong University of Medicine, Mimi continued to witness the remarkable benefits of combining traditional Chinese medicine with 21st century women’s health care. She has chosen to specialize in women’s health issues, ranging from infertility to menopause. In 2003, she established an acupuncture treatment for infertility program at IVF New Jersey and the Princeton Wellness Center in Princeton, New Jersey. A significant number of patients at IVF New Jersey have conceived following infertility treatment with a combination of in vitro fertilization and acupuncture.
For women who are dealing with infertility issues in New Jersey, Bucks County, or elsewhere, acupuncture represents yet another hopeful option at IVF New Jersey.
Scheduling Acupuncture Treatment
IVF New Jersey-Somerset: Seven days a week by appointment.
Princeton Wellness Center: Monday – Saturday by appointment.
Call 609-924-4910 to make an appointment.
Ms. Vassilev Baker is an independent practitioner and payments are made directly to her. All treatments and products must be paid for at the time the services are rendered. Visa, MasterCard, and personal checks are welcomed. You will be provided with a bill that can be submitted to your insurance provider.