I have been attending embryo transfers as an acupuncturist since 2002 and I think it is an honor to be there on such an important day. The protocol that I use is based on a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2002 and again in 2006 and 2007, which reported that acupuncture given on the day of the IVF embryo transfer increased the rate of pregnancy by 50%. The protocol for the day of embryo transfer actually consists of two treatments, one before the embryo transfer and one after the embryo transfer.
On the day of embryo transfer, I will meet my patient about 45 minutes before their scheduled embryo transfer time. The fertility clinics I work with here in Portland, Oregon, are very familiar with the protocol and welcome acupuncturists on the day of the embryo transfer. Sometimes when I attend a transfer, I will see one to two other acupuncturists there. It is no secret that having extra support there on that day makes a difference in your mind and body. The day of the embryo transfer during your IVF cycle is so important. It is the culmination of so much and people are usually experiencing a mix of excitement and anxiety. Sometimes women will experience a little bit of fear that day if they have had a negative experience with a prior IVF cycle. I do my best to be present with them and provide the best care on that day.
For new IVF patients that I take on, I make a commitment to being there with them on the day of their embryo transfer. If there is a reasons that I cannot be there, which happens rarely these days, I will find an excellent replacement from Blossom Clinic or from another acupuncture clinic that specializes in fertility in Portland. Most of the time I have an established relationship with the person whose embryo transfer I am attending. My patients will have had between 7 and 12 appointments with me before that day. Occasionally I will meet someone for the first time that day, if they are from out of town doing a donor cycle or another acupuncturist in town needs coverage because they cannot be there with their patient for some reason.
If you had an acupuncturist there at your embryo transfer, I would love to hear about your experience. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me, 503.287.0886.