A diagnosis of Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) can feel like a huge roadblock in trying to conceive. However, while certain bloodwork and biomarkers (AMH and FSH) provide good insight into the patients anticipated response to IUI or IVF stimulation it does not indicate egg or oocyte QUALITY which is a huge (and more important) factor in your ability to become pregnant and deliver a health baby. With regular treatment, acupuncture has been shown to improve egg QUALITY in women diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve.
It is discouraging to learn that women are born with a finite supply of eggs that gradually dwindles with age. Women who are diagnosed with DOR have a lower than average amount of eggs left in their “reserve” compared to other women their age. The good news is that women with test results indicating low ovarian reserve were no less likely to conceive within six or 12 months of trying than women whose lab tests didn’t point to a limited egg supply.
So how does acupuncture improve egg quality in women diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve?
Acupuncture works to improve follicle AND oocyte quality which in turn results in better egg and embryo quality. The follicle is the “house” of the oocyte. It is considered a microenvironment and a reflection of the mother’s overall health.
Maternal mitochondrial DNA from the follicle travels to the egg. This plays an important role in embryonic development. With acupuncture, we can have a direct impact on the mitochondria and communicate with the nervous system to help regulate hormones, promote maturation of follicles and ovulation.
How long does it take for acupuncture to help improve egg quality?
Generally, 3 months of pre-conception care is needed to improve follicle and egg quality, as well as addressing any other imbalances that may be present at the same time. A customized fertility acupuncture treatment plan created by Registered Acupuncturist will be your best chance a success.
Like anything, we focus on treating YOU as a whole person. So even though fertility is your main reason for coming in, we will also address any other imbalances we see such as poor sleep, digestive complaints, migraines, back pain etc.
Clinical Trials and Research on the Effectiveness of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Acupuncture has been used for the treatment of female infertility for thousands of years in China. A prospective observational study  reported significant decrease of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels and increase of estradiol (E2) level among DOR patients treated with acupuncture. Similar results were observed in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for women with POI, a condition showing a more serious decline of ovarian function than DOR. In recent years, acupuncture has gained worldwide popularity as an adjunct to assisted reproductive technology. A higher clinical pregnancy rate was reported in patients receiving acupuncture prior to and post-embryo transfer during IVF-ET cycles [16, 17]. In this trial, a prospective randomized sham-controlled study will be conducted to investigate the effect of acupuncture for women with DOR. Click HERE to read the full research article.
Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation
If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help you conceive with diminished ovarian reserve, please feel free to give me a call for a free 15 minute phone consultation 905.553.9255
Amanda Barone has been working as a fertility-focused acupuncturist since 2011. She has years of experience helping the Vaughan community build their families and over come hurdles when it comes to reproductive health. Give us a call today to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.
I look forward to working with you!