A frozen embryo transfer study (FET) study published in October 2014 concluded higher embryo implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates in women who received transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation prior to their frozen embryo transfer.
This is a significant finding since there are many more FET cycles since the advancement virtification (freezing embryos) and chromosomal screening (CCS/PGS).
In this study women received treatment on their abdomen and lower inner leg over 3 cycles leading up to transfer.
This study reconfirms our recommendations at Acubalance since acupuncture has an accumulative effect and receiving one to three treatments a week for several weeks before a transfer is more effective than just having a treatment on the actual transfer day, fresh or frozen.
At Acubalance we recommend twice weekly acupuncture/electroacupuncture (EA) treatments leading up to your frozen embryo transfer. We also provide acupuncture & laser acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer to increase embryo receptivity with the hopes to lead to increased implantation and live births. Click here for more details on laser acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer.
Acupuncture is one of many treatment modalities included in the Chinese medical system.
Acupuncture with electro-stim can help women doing a FET by increasing blood flow to the uterus, reducing negative effects of stress hormones that can interfere with implantation and improve uterine receptivity and live birth rates.
Acupunct Med. 2014 Oct 10. pii: acupmed-2014-010572. doi:
10.1136/acupmed-2014-010572. [Epub ahead of print]
Effect of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation on endometrial receptivity in women undergoing frozen-thawed embryo transfer: a single-blind prospective randomised controlled trial.
Shuai Z(1), Lian F(2), Li P(3), Yang W(2). Author information: (1)Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China. (2)Integrative Medicine Research Centre of Reproduction and Heredity, the Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China. (3)Department of Urology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation (TEAS) on endometrial HOXA10 protein expression and three-dimensional (3D) power Doppler ultrasound parameters as markers of endometrial receptivity in women undergoing frozen-thawed embryo transfer (FET). METHODS: A total of 68 women undergoing FET were randomised to receive TEAS or mock TEAS at acupuncture points CV3, CV4 and SP6 and Zigong bilaterally. Both groups had six sessions per cycle for three menstrual cycles prior to the scheduled FET. Each session lasted 30 min and was repeated every other day. 3D power Doppler ultrasound parameters, HOXA10 protein expression and rates of embryo implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth were compared.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups in endometrial thickness or endometrial volume. The ultrasonographic endometrial triple-line pattern was present more often in the TEAS group (p=0.002). The TEAS group had a greater endometrial and subendometrial vascularisation index (VI) than the mock TEAS group (p=0.001 and p<0.001, respectively) on 3D ultrasound and increased endometrial HOXA10 expression (p=0.001) immediately prior to FET. Subsequently, the rates of embryo implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates were all higher in the TEAS group than in the mock TEAS group (p=0.024, p=0.038 and p=0.033, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: In patients undergoing FET, TEAS may have beneficial effects on endometrial HOXA10 expression and ultrasound markers of endometrial receptivity. These findings may explain the improvement in clinical outcome of FET associated with the use of TEAS. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ChiCTR-TRC-1400444
Acupuncture has an accumulative effect. For most benefit we recommend acupuncture for 2-3 cycles before your FET and at a frequency of 2 per week. Often women find us at a date within a few weeks of their FET and we do our best to get in an adequate amount of acupuncture before your scheduled FET.
If you have a history of thin lining or other uterine issues then we would tailor your plan accordingly.
If you have a scheduled FET coming approaching very soon please contact us to find out if we can help you optimize your chances of success with your upcoming FET.