Acupuncture has been shown to improve IVF success rates. In a study conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, researchers found that acupuncture improved the clinical pregnancy rate by 65% and the live birth rate by 41% compared to control groups. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce miscarriage rates, and decrease the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). If you are considering IVF, acupuncture from a skilled and experienced practitioner can boost your chances of achieving your goal of a healthy baby.
Even though acupuncture, a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been around for thousands of years, the modality still holds up as an effective adjunct to modern assisted reproductive treatments (ART), like IVF. Since the birth of Louise Joy Brown, the first IVF baby, on July 25, 1978, ART has undergone countless iterations and improvements, and scientists continue to try to find ways to improve outcomes.
Interestingly, while acupuncture can seem far-fetched and a bit woo woo to some, modern research and clinical results have shown it to be effective, which is why fertility clinics around the U.S. have taken notice and begun encouraging their patients to seek acupuncture treatments along with IVF.
KEY BENEFITS OF IVF ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture has been shown to:
– Improve uterine blood flow and motility.
– Balance hormones.
– Reduce stress and anxiety accompanying IVF treatment and fertility challenges.
– Reduce miscarriages and lower the chance of ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS).
– Improve live birth rates by 50-60%.
– Improve underlying health concerns that contribute to infertility, like hypothyroidism, PCOS, and autoimmune disease.
– Save money be reducing the number of IVF retrievals and transfers required for a live birth.
Acupuncture may offer you the best chance at achieving a successful outcome from your fertility treatments!
Acupuncture is a safe, effective treatment that can be added to standard IVF care with minimal risk. If you are considering IVF, the ideal time to start acupuncture is 3 months prior to starting IVF. That’s because folliculogenesis is about a 90 day process, and that time can be spent preparing your body for the IVF protocol. The research shows that even one treatment prior to embryo transfer may be beneficial, so it’s never too late to add an experienced acupuncturist to your care team.
If you’re curious about how acupuncture could benefit you during IVF or another fertility treatment, please reach out and schedule a consultation with me today. I would be happy to answer any questions that you have and help you decide if this is the right option for you.
Manheimer, E., Zhang, G., Udoff, L., Haramati, A., Langenberg, P., Berman, B. M., & Bouter, L. M. (2008). Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7643), 545–549.
Qian, Y., Xia, XR., Ochin, H. et al. Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Gynecol Obstet 295, 543–558 (2017).
P.C. Magarelli, D.K. Cridennda, Acupuncture & IVF poor responders: a cure?, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 81, Supplement 3, 2004, Page 20.
Judith Balk, Janet Catov, Brandon Horn, Kimberly Gecsi, Anthony Wakim, The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: A pilot study, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Volume 16, Issue 3, 2010, Pages 154-157.