The aim of modern fertility treatment is not only to achieve pregnancy but also to have the healthiest possible baby. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress response and anxiety and this in turn may lead to a better overall hormonal balance in the reproductive cycle. This may enhance natural fertility, and also offers support during IVF cycles which benefit from acupuncture during the stimulation phase, and also from pre and post embryo transfer treatments.
The ideal treatment plan is to start working with acupuncture and diet during the three months before conceiving as this is the optimum time period affecting both egg and sperm quality. It is a good idea to come and have an initial consultation quite early in the planning process so that we can then plan together what treatment you would like.
IVF and IUI: Fertility Acupuncture - a Complementary Fertility Therapy
Fertility acupuncture has been shown to improve fertility rates when used as a complementary therapy for ART cycles for IVF, IUI and other ART protocols.
Fertility acupuncture may benefit those undergoing IVF and other ART treatments by lessening many unwanted side effects, mitigating some negative effects of IVF stimulation, and enhancing implantation and pregnancy rates.
Researchers have confirmed the following benefits:
Fertility treatments vary from person to person, but are usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles (twelve weeks). Treatments can include acupuncture, customised herbal therapy, stress reduction and dietary counselling. Treatments work alone but are an excellent addition to any Western intervention.
Acupuncture Increases IVF Success by 65%
Women undergoing IVF were 65 percent more likely to become pregnant when they combined the procedure with acupuncture. (British Medical Journal, February 2008) The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Maryland in the United States and the VU University of Amsterdam in Holland. It is thought that acupuncture stimulates the neurotransmitters that trigger the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, which controls the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and boost the production of endogenous opioids, inducing the body to relax. Researchers claim that because acupuncture costs are relatively inexpensive compared to an IVF cycle, it would be a cost effective, safe and efficient way of boosting success rates in assisted fertility treatment.
Acupuncture Improves Sperm Quality Acupuncture helped infertile men by improving sperm quality in their semen. (July 2005, Journal Fertility and Sterility)
In the research project, 28 men received acupuncture in addition to traditional infertility treatments, while another 12 men received only the traditional treatments. All of the men were diagnosed with infertility of unknown origin. Acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in the sperm of men who received acupuncture, although it had no effect on sperm immaturity or premature death.
The effects of acupuncture on IVF and ICSI:
A randomised controlled clinical study on 225 patients was carried out. In group one 116 patients received acupuncture, while in group two 109 patients received a placebo. The pregnancy rates for IVF and ICSI in group one were double the rate of group two. Conclusion: Acupuncture can be of great benefit to IVF and ICSI. http://www.aborm.org/research