Laser (Photobiomodulation) for Fertility
“Like most discoveries, low level laser therapy (LLLT/photobiomodulation) for fertility was discovered by accident.
Dr. Ohshiro, a medical doctor and pain specialist in Japan, used LLLT to treat pain. He heard back from a 55-year-old menopausal woman who he had treated for back pain that her menses had started again. Months later, another woman in menopause came in for back pain, received laser therapy, and her cycle returned as well.
Since the initial discovery by Dr. Ohshiro, there have been several clinical studies in Japan to explore the potential of low-level laser therapy to help with infertility and other issues including PCOS, uterine receptivity, sperm motility, endometriosis, embryo quality as well as IVF acupuncture on the day of transfer to increase implantation rates.
We have included 3 video interviews on the use lasers for fertility. One is a discussion with Colorado reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Paul Magarelli, on the mechanism of photobiomodulation and its potential for improving egg and sperm quality. The second is an excerpt from an interview Dr. Brown (Canada) did with Dr. Nakamura (Japan) where he discusses his 10 years of data of combining acupuncture with laser therapy and observed a doubling of blastocyst rates for those who had the combination of acupuncture and laser therapy leading up to and during their IVF cycle. Acubalance laser protocol is similar to Dr Nakamura’s. The third video is an interview with Anne Marie Jensen who has observes over a 60% success rate combining body work and laser therapy for her patients.
Video: Low Level Laser Therpay (LLLT) Photobiomodulation for Recharging Egg Quality
Dr. Paul Magarelli, a reproductive endocrinologist in Colorado Springs and Dr Lorne Brown, Fertility acupuncturist at Acubalance Vancouver, discuss the latest research and mechanism of low level laser therapy (LLLT) / photobiomodulation for maximizing egg quality potential.
Reversing Aging-Related Reproductive Problems
Most of us assume that aging and declining egg quality are irreversible. But early research into low level laser therapy is showing that it may be possible to improve egg quality, slow down the ageing process, and improve fertility. A tremendous amount of energy within the cells is needed for follicles (eggs) to mature, and for early embryos to divide and implant. As we age, the energy structures within our cells (mitochondria) begin to wear down and aren’t capable of producing as much energy (ATP).
Laser has a beneficial impact on fertility because the rate of division and successful implantation of embryos has much to do with the amount of energy they have. Because of this decline in cellular energy, at age 40, many eggs can be abnormal. Low level laser therapy (LLLT/photobiomodulation) emits photon energy light directly into the cells, rejuvenating the cells and enabling them to produce more energy.
The lasers we’re talking about are not the high powered, hot beams of red light you see in the movies. They are instead low powered, non-heating, red and infrared waves of light. They do not burn or cut.
We see enormous potential in this research for women who are struggling to conceive—particularly those who are of advanced maternal age, diagnosed with poor egg quality or have been diagnosed with endometriosis and PCOS.
All our cells are powered by little structures called mitochondria. Eggs have about 200 times more mitochondria than any other cell. When eggs are developing, they use a tremendous amount of energy. And early embryo division and implantation requires lots of energy. After 35 years, the mitochondria wear down. At age 40, nine out of 10 eggs are abnormal.
Studies show that the mitochondria of older eggs is capable of producing significantly less ATP, which is the source of cellular energy. This has a significant impact on fertility, as the rate of division and successful implantation of embryos has more to do with how much energy (ATP) than with maternal age per se. Consequentially, the capacity of the cold laser to improve the ATP production of eggs has a potentially dramatic effect on their viability.
Furthermore, it is known that older follicles have fewer defenses against cellular damage caused by oxidative stress, and that this is related to poorer IVF outcomes. Studies suggest that LLLT treatment could also help with this condition, along with other complications, which impede fertility later in life.
Increasing energy level (ATP) in the cells, improved blood circulation, softening of scar tissue and a reduction in inflammation. These factors are all beneficial to female reproduction in general and to the receptivity of uterine lining.
Conditions that may benefit can benefit from LLLT Low Level Laser Therapy for fertility:
- Women who have not responded to conventional therapies
- Women who have egg quality issues due to age including
- low AMH
- high FSH
- poor responders
- women 37 and over
- Women diagnosed with PCOS or ovulatory disorders
- Women diagnosed with endometriosis or painful menses
- Women who have issues with their uterine lining such as:
- History of abdominal surgery or D and C
- Thin lining during IVF cycles
- Women going through IVF fresh or frozen cycle to support implantation
- quality of motility in semen
Beneficial effects of LLLT/photobiomodulation for fertility:
- Increases mitochondria function and ATP (energy) production
- Regulates inflammation
- Defending cells against damage caused by oxidative stress (follicles and sperm)
- Improving blood circulation which can benefit ovaries, testes and uterine receptivity
- Speed tissue healing
- Eliminate recurring infections
- Softens scarring and adhesions (from earlier surgeries or infections)
- Decreases stress and promote parasympathetic function
Beneficial effects of (photobiomodulation) Low-Level Laser Therapy
- Stimulates mitochondrial activity to repair the effects of ageing and wear & tear.
- Increase cellular ATP (energy)
- DNA production is increased
- Improves blood flow
- Releases endorphins
- Decreases edema
- Decreases chronic inflammation
- Increase cartilage and bone formation
- Normalizes and softens scar tissue and adhesions
- Increases collagen production
- Improves muscle regeneration
- Hormonal balance
- Optimized implantation in IVF
- Co Q10 absorption - Synergistic effect with LLLT
Acubalance Vancouver’s current Laser for Fertility Approach:
For infertility, the course of LLLT/photobiomodulation treatment includes 6 treatments during the first 2 weeks of menstruation. The laser can be combined with acupuncture or if the patient chooses, only laser. We recommend the combination but for those with a severe needle, phobia can choose laser without acupuncture. Then, when the woman expects to be ovulating, the couple will try insemination (either natural or otherwise). If the first round is not successful, another course of treatments is given. When the result is positive, it typically happens within the first 3-6 months.
The protocol is as follows:
- Starting on the first day of menstruation, a total of 6 treatments are applied over the course of 2 weeks until ovulation. The average is 3 treatments a week from menstruation to ovulation for a total of 6 sessions.
- At this point, when ovulation is expected, insemination (natural or otherwise) is attempted.
- If the woman does not conceive, and menstruation returns, another course of treatment is given.
- There is no discomfort associated with the laser treatment.
Laser for Fresh IVF protocol:
- The most benefit is during preconception care, for at 3 cycles leading up to IVF. (100 days to peak fertility)
- During the stimulation phase of IVF cycle 2-3 treatments a week leading up to the day before egg retrieval.
- Following retrieval, to support healing post-surgery (egg retrieval), two sessions during the week following egg retrieval. This accelerates healing, regulates inflammation & edema and reduces pain and discomfort.
Laser for FET protocol:
- Begin at least 2 weeks before you start your estrace to build your lining.
- During the building of lining (once you start your menses) receive 2-3 sessions a week until transfer day to have approximately 6-10 sessions by transfer day.
- Acubalance provides laser acupuncture and traditional acupuncture onsite at Olive Fertility Clinic in Vancouver immediately before transfer and immediately following the transfer. (Performed onsite at Olive)
Video: Laser + Acupuncture Doubles Blastocyst Reaching Rate
Dr Nakamura (fertility acupuncturist in Japan) has been collecting data for over 10 years on combining laser and acupuncture for fertility. He has found an increase in the rate of embryos growing to day 5 when combining laser and acupuncture for 3 to 6 months.
IVF ACUPUNCTURE FOR EMBRYO TRANSFER
We offer traditional acupuncture and laser acupuncture before and after embryo transfer on-site at Olive Fertility Centre. For our Grace, PCRM, and Genesis patients, we offer traditional and laser acupuncture at the Acubalance clinic on transfer day (we are only a few blocks from Grace or Genesis). laser acupuncture on IVF Transfer Day
Treatment: Two treatments on transfer day.
Anne Marie has been using laser therapy to help resolve scar tissue, optimize egg and sperm quality and uterine receptivity.
1.) What if I am doing an IVF cycle?
If you are doing an IVF cycle then we suggest laser 2-3 week during your stim phase leading up to your retrieval... And then laser acupuncture immediately before and after your embryo transfer to support uterine receptivity and implantation.
2.) How is low level laser therapy different than acupuncture?
Low level laser therapy shares many benefits of acupuncture, including Increased blood circulation Decreased inflammation Pain relief caused by the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines and neurotransmitters. Instead of using acupuncture needles to activate the nervous system, low level laser therapy uses red and infrared light to stimulate cellular photon metabolism. Our combined laser and acupuncture treatments incorporate the best of ancient Eastern and innovative Western modalities for powerful and effective relief of symptoms. During your initial consult, we can discuss whether low level laser therapy, acupuncture, or both, will be best for your specific health concerns.
3.) Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral. Please contact us (e: email@example.com or p: 604-678-8600) if you would like to book an appointment
4) What if I am needle phobic?
If you are needle phobic then you can receive just laser acupuncture and no needles.
5) Do you offer onsite IVF acupuncture and laser acupuncture on the day of my embryo transfer?
We offer onsite IVF acupuncture and laser acupuncture onsite at Olive Fertility Centre in Vancouver. You need to contact us directly to schedule us to be onsite at Olive for you at firstname.lastname@example.org or p: 604-678-8600. We are on call, so if you know the date of your transfer please call us, even before you know the actual time, so we can plan to have an Acubalance practitioner available for you at Olive. We meet you at Olive 30 minutes before your scheduled transfer time.
We bring together the best of Chinese & Functional Medicine with new technology to provide our patients with the best chance of reaching their peak fertility and having a healthy baby.
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