Often quoted but rarely understood, How does Acupuncture Increase Pregnancy Rates in IVF? For years we have seen and read studies showing the benefits of acupuncture for both IVF and natural pregnancies. What we don't usually see is why does acupuncture help. What does Acupuncture and Chinese medicine do to help a couples conceive? The answer is simple yet complicated
I recently read an article from the Daily Mail
describing research supporting the use of acupuncture in IVF. The data analyzed showed a 6% increase in pregnancies with women who received acupuncture with their IVF cycles. A pretty significant jump ! but how does a few acupuncture needles have such a profound effect? Here are a few answers
Acupuncture has shown to do several key functions. They are able to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, influences hormones and regulates the nervous system. For women who receive acupuncture treatment on they day they are having an embryo transferred this can help with the receptivity of the uterine lining. If the lining of the uterus is more receptive there will be a significant improvement in implantation rates and has also shown to decrease miscarriage rates.
This research was based off women having treatment on IVF transfer day only. But what about women who receive more acupuncture, not just on the day of an embryo transfer? These extra treatments done leading up to an IVF is able to help support the development of follicles and eggs. Significantly more than the day of transfer which only can improve uterine lining and implantation.
Going back to the basics of acupuncture, it makes sense that more is better. More blood flow, less inflammation, hormone regulation is stronger and the nervous system is better balanced. All great things to improve the chances of conception. The other benefit of "more" acupuncture is that we do more than "Just" acupuncture. Known as the "Whole Systems" approach, Acupuncture is only one part of what we do to improve fertility. The Whole System approach of Chinese Medicine includes diet changes, lifestyle adjustments, exercise plans and supplements that go along with acupuncture treatment. These studies for the day of transfer are only seeing the benefit in 1 area of fertility, implantation. There is so much more that it offers if we have an opportunity to treat in the months leading up to an IVF cycle.
To learn more about our approach to the treatment of infertility please call. We offer a free 15 minute phone Q&A
to discuss the types of treatment we provide that can help improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM