A research study conducted by Paulus in 2002 among women having IVF or ICSI embryo transfer showed that implantation rates were 60% higher in those who also had acupuncture around embryo transfer.
The study involved 160 women who were randomly divided into two groups of 80. One group of women were given acupuncture pre- and post- embryo transfer. The other group were not given any acupuncture. The women in the two groups were similar in other characteristics, such as age, number of IVF cycles, endometrial (womb lining) thickness and number of embryos transferred.
The pregnancy rate for the group who received acupuncture around the time of embryo transfer was 42.5%, compared to 26.3% in the control group – a difference of 60%.
More recent studies by Quintero et al (2004) and Westergaard et al (2004) have reconfirmed these results. In the Paulus study the acupuncture was given 25 minutes pre- and post- embryo transfer. Subsequent research studies have shown that acupuncture given within 24 hours pre- or post- embryo transfer is just as effective in improving embryo implantation and pregnancy rates (and rather more practical!)
If you are planning to have IVF it is a good idea to start having acupuncture before starting your medication. But if your IVF cycle is imminent, don’t worry, acupuncture can still help.
To find out more about acupuncture for female and male infertility and IVF – visit my website.
Research studies indicate that acupuncture may help treat reproductive health and fertility in a number of ways by:
- Balancing hormones
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
- Helping women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) , endometriosis, painful periods (dysmenorrhoea) and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Helping to stimulate ovulation in women with no or irregular ovulation
- Enhancing egg and sperm quality
- Increasing blood circulation to the reproductive organs, improving function of the ovaries and helping build womb lining thickness in preparation to receive the fertilised egg
- Promoting embryo implantation
- Reducing stress and anxiety
“I can’t thank Judy enough for her kind and patient care whilst going through our IVF cycles. My sessions were moments of real calm in spite of the stress and the calming effect really helped me cope. We were very lucky that our last cycle worked and we were blessed with two beautiful babies. Judy is a lovely person to help you stay balanced on the IVF roller coaster, I can highly recommend her.”
“I couldn’t recommend Judy enough. We had had two failed IVF attempts and were losing hope until we decided to give acupuncture in conjunction with IVF a try. I was sceptical at first, but Judy explained how and why acupuncture can help. I felt it really helped and now from our third IVF cycle (first with acupuncture) I am the proud mum of a beautiful 5 month old baby boy. I will definitely be going back to Judy next time around.”
Discount acupuncture treatment packages are available for fertility and IVF clients.
Paulus WE, et al. (2002) Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril. 2002; 77:721-724.
Quintero R. (2004) A randomized, controlled, double-blind, cross-over study evaluating acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF. Fertil Steril. 2004; 81:11-12.
Westergaard LG, et al. (2006) Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: A prospective, randomized trial. Fertil Steril. 2006; 85:1341-1346.