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Acupuncture and IVF treatment

Q: I am presently doing IVF treatment and I am having acupuncture sessions. I would like to know if I can carry on with the sessions after the embryo transfer? Is it safe to continue acupuncture treatment after the embryo transfer and during pregnancy?

A: Generally speaking, in the hands of a properly trained and qualified acupuncturist it is perfectly safe to continue with acupuncture treatment during pregnancy. Most practitioners tend to do the least possible as maintenance treatment throughout the term, and will only see someone more frequently if a problem such as morning sickness or severe backache presents. All practitioners are trained to avoid a number of more risk-laden points at various stages of the pregnancy, but it would be fair to say that rarely do European practitioners use the same level of vigorous treatment which is common in China, and the risk would probably be minimal. However, in deference to the wisdom of 2000 years of practice all BAcC members avoid what are called 'forbidden points'.

The best person to ask for advice, though, is probably the practitioner you are seeing. He or she will be far better acquainted with your system than we could possibly be at a distance, and will be able to offer advice based on your unique balance. Many BAcC members have done additional postgraduate training in the field of obstetrics and fertility treatment, and it is one of a very small number of areas (paediatrics is another) where we have working groups looking at what defines expert practice with a view to recognising the training standards involved. It may well be that your practitioner has done this sort of training, but if he or she hasn't there are many practitioners who have who could offer expert advice based on your specific presentation.

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