Acupuncture has become a popular method to increase the success rate of IVF treatment for women trying to have a baby. Although not all doctors and scientists agree that the outcomes of some studies prove this to be true, based on what we know about acupuncture and it's effects on the body, it would make perfect sense that a woman seeking IVF treatment would benefit from acupuncture and increase her likelihood of becoming pregnant.
Success Rates of IVF & IVF with Acupuncture
When considering the following numbers, let's keep in mind that even a young and fertile couple has just a 15-20% chance to conceive naturally in any one month. Women with top chances of IVF success have per-cycle success rates of about 40% or higher, while the majority of women have per-cycle success rates of 20-35%.
A clinical study conducted in Germany found that pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group which did not receive acupuncture. The acupuncture group received day of transfer acupuncture treatment, on the morning of and again later that day. This would lead us to conclude that receiving acupuncture during IFV treatment could put you in the upper tier of success.
In her book, Acupuncture & IVF, Dr. Lifang Liang, a Western and Chinese trained medical doctor who has conducted research on IVF specifically, has found that success rates can be increased to as much as 60% for women receiving acupuncture throughout the IVF cycle plus day of transfer acupuncture treatments. She has spent many years treating women with acupuncture and herbal medicine during the course of IVF and an expert in her field.
How Acupuncture Helps Support IVF
There are a number of things that acupuncture and herbal medicine can do to treat fertility and the success rate of IVF:
- Improve ovarian function to produce better quality eggs
- Regulate hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- Increase blood flow to the uterus to increase the thickness of the uterine lining
- Relax the patient and decrease stress hormone levels (this is the one all doctors and scientists agree upon based on studies and also incredibly important)
- Prevent the uterus from contracting
- Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve semen quality and quantity
- Decrease threat of miscarriage
The Subtle Beauty
Our health deals with the interplay of what we call Qi, Yin, Yang, Blood, and Jing. These are all the things essential for life and for creating new life. Finding the balance between them is what we, as acupuncturists try to provide you with. We work with your body to correct the subtle, which is why acupuncture compliments assisted reproductive technology (ART) so well. ART takes the reigns while we give back-up assistance.
I won't go into the nitty gritty of Chinese Medical Theory in this article, nor will I give you the promise of a successful IVF cycle because you get acupuncture treatment with it. But using the knowledge of what I've seen and learned in my practice, I will be able to give you a better shot at it. And no matter what the outcome, I will be there to support you afterwards.
So, if you are considering or going through IVF treatment already, please contact me. Chinese Medicine can have a significant and profound impact on your physical and emotional health and I am here to help.