IVF acupuncture support with Peter Kington in Greenslopes is just a stone’s throw from Care Fertility at Greenslopes Hospital and QFG, City Fertility and Life Fertility in Spring Hill
What is IVF acupuncture support and how does it differ from other acupuncture therapies?
IVF acupuncture support is a concept – a style of clinical practice – that involves the application of acupuncture to support women prior to and during an active IVF cycle by Brisbane acupuncture practitioner, Peter Kington.
A quick snapshot about Peter Kington, IVF acupuncture practitioner in Greenslopes, Brisbane
Peter has been in full-time acupuncture practice in Brisbane since 2005 and worked with his first ever IVF patient in that year.
As a result of that experience, Peter developed a keen interest in reproductive medicine.
Although the concept of fertility and infertility are well covered in Chinese medicine tradition, IVF was something new and the role acupuncture might play alongside IVF was an interest Peter quickly developed.
To learn more about Peter’s professional experience with IVF acupuncture support, visit his about page – but, in short, Peter has undertaken many professional development seminars in Chinese medicine fertility (and taught a few as well).
He also completed a Master of Reproductive Medicine from the University of New South Wales. This degree included the following areas of study:
- Basic reproductive physiology: genetics; reproductive hormones; neuroendocrinology and prolactin; sex determination to puberty; the ovarian and menstrual cycles; endocrine system and growth factors; spermatogenesis.
- Clinical reproductive endocrinology: polycystic ovary syndrome; central causes of ovulatory disturbance; delayed and precocious puberty; the thyroid; recurrent miscarriage; premature ovarian failure.
- Clinical reproductive medicine: epidemiology of infertility; causes of male infertility; causes of female infertility; investigation of infertility (surgical, radiology and ultrasound); tubo-peritoneal factor; unexplained infertility; ovulation induction; IUI; ectopic pregnancy; pelvic inflammatory disease; assisted reproduction (IVF); GnRH analogues and antagonists; controlled ovarian stimulation; complications of assisted reproduction; PiGD (preimplantation genetic disorders); endometriosis.
- Menopause: physiology and epidemiology of the menopause; effects of oestrogen deficiency; hormone replacement therapy (HRT); management of osteoporosis; pharmacological approaches to menopause; alternative and complementary approaches to menopause; psychosexual aspects of the peri-menopause and menopause.
- Contraception: fertility awareness methods; barrier methods; intrauterine devices; oral contraceptives; other hormonal contraceptives; termination of pregnancy,
- Ethics and law in reproductive medicine
- Psychosocial issues in reproductive health
How does Peter work with IVF acupuncture?
Peter’s approach in offering IVF acupuncture support is twofold:
- Helping a woman prepare for IVF by offering pre-conception care through the time-honoured Chinese medicine diagnostic process for fertility acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
- Offering targeted IVF acupuncture during the IVF cycle which will be guided by the fertility acupuncture Chinese medicine diagnosis.
IVF acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer in Brisbane
IVF acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer involves having one session before your embryo transfer and another session after the transfer.
In the first decade of the 2000s, a couple of studies were published which suggested acupuncture before and after embryo transfer may improve clinical pregnancy rates in assisted reproductive technology (IVF) [i].
At the time, these studies received favourable press coverage and acupuncture, as a therapy, grew in popularity amongst women undergoing IVF. It was around this time Peter Kington commenced his IVF acupuncture practice.
Since then, research around acupuncture’s role in supporting IVF outcomes, has been patchy and those early studies, despite their promising findings, are now considered too old and of poor quality, for inclusion as evidence supporting IVF acupuncture. For this reason, historically, the evidence is best considered ‘unclear’.
However, a recent systematic review [ii] notes that “acupuncture improves the CPR [clinical pregnancy rates] among women undergoing IVF”.
It is important to note CPR is not that same as ‘live birth rate’ (that is, having a baby).
For a more thorough understanding of the role of evidence in IVF acupuncture and general acupuncture, the FAQ page of this site is the place to visit.
Are herbal medicines safe to take during an IVF cycle?
Many IVF doctors caution against taking herbal medicines or preparations during IVF because of a concern these may potentiate the drugs they administer as part of an IVF cycle and therefore, put a woman at greater risk of harm due to ovarian hyper-stimulation.
The appropriate place for herbal medicine, in addition to IVF acupuncture is best discussed during the initial consultation.
[i] Paulus, WE et al, 2002, Fertility and Sterility, Apr; 77(4) 721-4 and Westergaard, L et al, May 2006, Volume 85, Issue 5: 1341-1346
[ii] Qian, et al, Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, March 2017, Volume 295, Issue 3, pp 543-558