Dr. Sniezek uses a similar protocol as Lifang Liang, OMD, PhD, Lic Acup with regard to medical acupuncture; however, because many active botanicals have not been adequately studied or FDA approved, herbal formulas may not be a part of Dr. Sniezek’s treatment regimen.
In 2002, a group of German researchers, led by Dr. Wolfgang Paulus, conducted a study where women were given acupuncture treatments immediately before and after an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. The analysis showed that the pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group was almost 50 percent higher than the control group that did not receive acupuncture. They published their findings in the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility. Since that study, more and more Western fertility clinics are suggesting to their patients that they consider acupuncture in preparation for IVF. Acupuncture points that were selected are known to relax the uterus, stabilize the endocrine system, and improve the flow of energy to the abdomen.
Dr. Sniezek has been conducting his own research on IVF and the benefits of medical acupuncture for fertility since 1995 through his private practices in Washington DC and Virginia. Dr. Sniezek is trained in both Western and Oriental medicine and has found through his experience that leveraging the strengths of both create the optimal treatment outcomes.
Clinical studies (Lifang Liang, OMD, PhD, Lic Acup) show that the success rate for IVF can be increased even further to at least 60 percent when patients start acupuncture treatments three months prior to the IVF procedure. In many instances, after three months of treatment, patients are able to become pregnant naturally.
During the three-month preparation time, medical acupuncture is able to:
• Improve ovarian function, which will result in producing more follicles and good quality eggs
• Regulate estrogen and progesterone levels, thickening the lining of the uterus for proper implantation
• Strengthen the immune system
• Reduce stress and relax the patient to prevent the uterus from contracting and ultimately help to prevent miscarriage
• Alleviate the side effects of in vitro fertilization drugs
• Improve semen quality and quantity
• Treat the root cause of infertility. Chinese medicine is very successful in treating many gynecological conditions that contribute to infertility, such as irregular menses, endometriosis, and blocked fallopian tubes.
For more information about nutrition and infertility, as well as Dr. Sniezek’s “Medical Acupuncture and Infertility” brochure, please see ‘Patient Education.’