Acupuncture for IVF
IVF and Acupuncture
Acupuncture, frequently combined with Chinese herbal medicine, has been used for long time to treat infertility.
A great number of medical researches have examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for IVF.
Recent studies have shown that acupuncture before and after embryo transfer improve the success rate compared to those not having acupuncture (please see the chart and IVF and Acupuncture Researches).
Studies indicated that acupuncture before and after embryo transfer can:
1. Relax the patient and decrease their stress
2. Prevent the uterus from contracting
3. Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF
4. Strengthen the immune system
5. Decrease chances of miscarriage
How many sessions of Acpuncture?
For preparation, it is better to start acupuncture treatment three cycles before starting procedure of IVF. During IVF cycle, acupuncture at least before egg pick up, and before and after embryo transfer would be recommended.
IVF and Acupuncture Researches
Effects of Acupuncture on LIF and IL-12 in Rats of Implantation Failure. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Pregnant rats were randomized to no treatment group (N), group that mifepristone treatment group (M), acupuncture group (A) and progestin group (P)
and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), LIFR protein, and mRNA in endometrium were detected.
In this research, acupuncture improved the endometrium by promotinng LIF and IL-12 secretion.
Gui, J, et al, American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 2012 May;67(5) (Abstract here)
The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study,
Women undergoing Embryo transfer with or without acupuncture were observed.
Women who received acupuncture achieved pregnancy 64.7%, whereas those without acupuncture achieved pregnancy 42.5%.
Balk J, et al, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 2010 Aug;16(3):154-7 (Abstract here)
Effects of Acupuncture on pregnancy rates in Women undergoing In-vitro fertilization: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
This systematic review shows acupuncture improves clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and live birth rate (LBR) among women undergoing IVF.
Cui Hong Zheng, et al, Fertility and Sterility, 2008 Mar;97(3):599-611 (Abstract here)
Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment
Prospective cohort clinical study detected that serum cortisol levels and prolactin levels in acupuncture group were significantly higher during IVF medication compared with controls.
Magarelli PC. et al, Fertil Steril, 2009 Dec;92(6):1870-9 (Abstract here)
The effect of acupuncture on outcomes in in-vitro fertilization (IVF)
116 patients received acupuncture on luteal-phase. 109 patients received placebo acupuncture.
In acupuncture group, the clinical pregnancy rate and ongoing pregnancy rate (33.6% and 28.4%, respectively) were significantly higher than placebo group (15.6% and 13.8%).
Udoff L. C. et al, Fertil Steril, 2007 Vol 86, Issue 3, pg S145 (Abstract here)
Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer
Women were randomly divided to acupuncture group and sham acupuncture group. All women had sessions on day 9, before embryo transfer, and immediately after embryo transfer.
In acupuncture group, the pregnancy rate was higher than placebo group (31% vs. 23%). Smith C. et al, Fertil Steril, 2006 May;85(5):1352-8 (Abstract here)
Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial
Women undergoing embryo transfer were devided to acupuncture group and no acupuncture group.
Acupuncture group received acpuncture on the day (ACU1 and ACU2) and 2 days later (ACU2) of embryo transfer.
Clinical and ongoing pregnancy rate were singnificantly highter in both acupuncture groups than control group.
Westergaard, L. G., et al, Fertil Steril, 2006 May;85(5) (Abstract here)