In a study published in the journal of Fertility and Sterility in 2002, it was discovered that acupuncture with IVF, when performed before and after the transfer, increased the rates of conception 1. Since that time, more and more studies have been done on the subject with encouraging results. Although the initial results in this 2002 study have been over-exaggerated by the media, subsequent studies have still maintained that acupuncture is indeed helpful.
Acupuncture with IVF
The theory is that acupuncture not only relaxes the individual receiving the IVF transfer, a beneficial side effect, but it is hypothesized that the act of acupuncture increases circulation to reproductive organs and regulates the pituitary-hypothalamus-ovarian axis. Combine all of these events and you have a better chance at conception. For a more detailed look at acupuncture and IVF, click here.
A more recent meta-analysis (a review of many studies on acupuncture and IVF) published in the British Medical Journal concluded “current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.” 2
1. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Paulus WE, Zhang M, Stehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Fertility and Sterility, 2002;77:721-724.
2. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, et al. BMJ 2008; Feb 7
Preparing Before Your IVF
However, the very best results for those hoping to improve their chances of getting pregnant are when both the female and the male receive acupuncture in combination with Chinese herbal medicine for at least 3 months prior to starting the IVF. The time frame of three months is indicated as this is the amount of time it takes for a female egg and a male sperm cell to mature. The only way to influence the quality of the egg and the sperm is to start treatment at least three months ahead of planned conception. The result? Better egg quality and improved sperm.
Are you interested in Drew performing pre and post acupuncture for your IVF transfer?
Drew has been to many fertility clinics in the Toronto area to perform acupuncture for IVF clients. Not only will Drew provide a safe and relaxing acupuncture session, he will also help walk you through your IVF experience keeping you calm and relaxed.
If you are looking for someone who has experience working with IVF transfers, contact Drew today to find out more details and feel confident about your decision to add acupuncture to your IVF event.