In Vitro Fertilisation and You

As you may have discussed with your specialist, IVF can be an uncertain procedure and success rates are not always as high as we would like. The good news, however, is that there are complementary treatments scientifically proven to boost the chances of a successful IVF pregnancy.

Studies in Australia and abroad have conclusively demonstrated that naturopathic and acupuncture treatments, when tailored to your needs and undertaken in a controlled and timely manner, can improve your chances of a successful pregnancy by up to 75 per cent.

This is where Resonance Complementary Therapies can help. Natalie Cruttenden is a qualified naturopath and IVF nurse, while Chris Gebhardt brings acupuncture qualifications to his naturopathic practice. Working together, and drawing on over 30 years combined experience, they can provide courses of treatment designed expressly to boost fertility and improve your IVF outcome.

Following an initial assessment of you and your partner’s lifestyle, health, dietary habits and fertility history, Chris and Natalie will develop nutritional guidelines, supplemented by herbal formulas, and tailor a course of acupuncture to your needs and circumstances. In consultation with your specialist, they will monitor your progress throughout your IVF program and modify the treatment regimen as required.

While these treatments can provide benefits at all stages of the IVF process, early adoption will boost your chances of conception and successful pregnancy.

For more details, please refer to the FAQs below or call Natalie and Chris on 9885 5964.

Frequently asked questions

How will the use of naturopathy and acupuncture support us through IVF?

Resonance Complementary Therapies tailors individual treatment plans to optimise both your general and reproductive health. This improves your egg and sperm quality and, consequently, the quality of fertilised embryos, resulting in a greater likelihood of a successful cycle, a healthy and complication-free pregnancy and labour, and ultimately a healthy baby.

How can naturopathy enhance my IVF outcomes?

Naturopathic treatments employ herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, dietary recommendations and lifestyle advice. Individualised treatments drawing from each of these modalities work to:

  • Manage specific reproductive health disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, irregular menstruation, anovulation, dysmenorrhea and recurrent miscarriage
  • Address the diagnoses of ‘unexplained infertility’ by assessing overall health and treating any areas of poor health
  • Address general systemic health issues such as weight management, metabolic issues, auto-immunity and thyroid disorders
  • Treat nutritional deficiencies critical for a successful pregnancy, such as zinc, iodine, iron and essential fatty acids
  • Prepare the uterus for pregnancy by increasing circulation and oxygenation to the area and employing the use of specific uterine tonics
  • Minimise any adverse effects from IVF treatment, including drug side effects, sleep disturbances, increased stress, fatigue and mood changes.


How can acupuncture enhance my IVF outcomes?

Acupuncture employs the use of single-use, fine, sterile needles in specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of qior energy. Acupuncture has received increased interest from the scientific community in recent years, and there is an ever-growing body of evidence to support its use to enhance fertility. Acupuncture is employed to:

  • Improve egg number and quality
  • Improve sperm quality
  • Address any underlying imbalances in overall health and, more specifically, in the reproductive organs
  • Minimise any side effects from the IVF treatment
  • Significantly improve pregnancy rates through its use pre- and post-embryo transfer.


What evidence supports the use of acupuncture prior to and following embryo transfer?

Recent studies published in Fertility and Sterility (vol. 85, no. 5, May 2006) conclusively demonstrate that acupuncture treatment immediately pre- and post-embryo transfer significantly increases the rate of successful pregnancy outcomes. Overall, the average increase in successful ongoing pregnancy is 75 per cent. It is important to realise that these studies reflect success rates using embryos of good quality. The greatest likelihood of success is achieved when both partners receive naturopathic and acupuncture treatments throughout the fertility cycle, and then acupuncture treatment prior to and following the transfer of the embryo.

Clinical Pregnancy rate (%) Ongoing Pregnancy rate (%)
Study 1* Control






Study 2# Control






Study 3 Control






*Westergaard L.G., et al., ‘Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer (ET) significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial’, pp. 1341-6.

#Dieterle, S., et al., ‘Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study’, pp. 1347-51.

Smith, C. ‘Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer’, pp. 1352–8.

What does the treatment involve?

The initial consultation is a one-hour meeting where a thorough case history is taken to assess the overall health of you and your partner. At this stage a treatment plan is devised and any required medications are prescribed. Functional pathology tests also might be recommended. The treatment is then divided into two streams: natropathic and acupuncture.

The naturopathic stream involves follow-up visits every two to four weeks, depending upon your circumstances. These half-hour visits address dietary and lifestyle modifications, as well as an ongoing assessment of required medications.

The second stream involves regular acupuncture treatment. These hour-long visits are usually on a weekly basis. The final acupuncture treatments for each cycle are those prior to and following embryo transfer.

Should my partner also receive treatment?

Absolutely. Regardless of whether the infertility is attributed to male or female factors, the embryo receives half its DNA from each parent. It is highly desirable that both parents are in their best possible health prior to conception.

Will this treatment interfere with my IVF treatment?

No medications are prescribed that could interfere with your IVF treatment. If you are on a stimulated drug cycle or an artificial thaw cycle you will not be prescribed any type of medicine that can exert a hormonal effect or that can influence the metabolism of the fertility drugs.

Should I inform my specialist about my treatment?

We actively encourage clear communication between all parties with whom you are seeking treatment. With each patient’s permission we write to their specialist informing them of the treatment protocol.

Should I continue treatment once I am pregnant?

While pregnancy is natural process and not an illness requiring treatment, we do encourage you to continue treatment to ensure your pregnancy is healthy and complication-free. Very often a single visit at the beginning of each trimester is enough to address your changing nutritional needs and to prepare your body for labour and birth. However, if difficulties do occur treatments may be more frequent. Some complications of pregnancy that can be addressed include:

  • A history of miscarriage or threatened miscarriage
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pelvic instability



Want to talk to someone about how we can help with IVF?

Contact Us

9885 5964
231B High Street
Ashburton VIC 3147

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