Acupuncture Doubles Pregnancy Success Rates With IVF
Garden Acupuncture explains how the combination of acupuncture and IVF increases pregnancy success.
A new study, published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, has shown that using Chinese medicine in combination with in vitro fertilization can increase the odds of having a healthy pregnancy. The study was published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.
The study did not identify how acupuncture may affect the uterus and reproductive system, but the scientists found the technique increased the chances of becoming pregnant for a significant number of the woman in their study. ABCNEWS' Dr. Nancy Snyderman stated, "We know that acupuncture, when the needles are placed correctly, can affect the nervous system of the body, so the question always is, can you make the uterus a better receiving place for embryos?"
The small study included only 160 patients who were all undergoing in vitro fertilization. All of the patients were required to have good quality embryos, were evenly and randomly divided into two groups of similar age and diagnosis. After 6 weeks all of the patients were examined via ultrasound after their IVF procedures and significant differences in the pregnancy rates were noticed.:
The control group: 26% (21 out of 80 patients) became pregnant.
Acupuncture group: 42% (34 out of 80 patients) became pregnant.
According the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), energy flows through the body along specific channels, also called meridians. Acupuncture is a means of influencing this energy to create a particular effect in the body. To perform acupuncture a sterile non-hallow needle is inserted into the patient's body at very specific points, including the spleen and stomach meridians, to stimulate blood flow and direct energy to the uterus. Additional acupuncture needles where placed into the patient's ears to influence both the uterus and the endocrine system. The needles remained in the patients for 25 minutes while they rested.
The control group also rested for 25 minutes after the embryo transfer as part of the IVF protocol.
The acupuncture group received only 2 treatments. One before the embryos were transferred to their uterus, and another treatment after the uterus.
Dr. Snyderman continued by stating, "the idea being that if you can stimulate the nerves, you can make the uterus quiet and blood flow, which makes it easier for the embryos to take hold." "There is no doubt, because this was a very well done study and it was reported in a very highly regarded medical journal, that doctors will sit up and pay attention to it," she said. "This is the first time we may have had a serious marriage between an art and science that is so many, many years old, and what is really cutting-edge technology, in-vitro fertilization."
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If you want to learn even more about acupuncture and IVF watch the video below.