IVF and Research

Going through a cycle of IVF can be very stressful, putting health and relationships under strain. Traditional acupuncture has also been shown to reduce the physical impact of emotional stress. And since stress is known to interfere with getting pregnant, acupuncture’s relaxing effects can also improve your odds of conceiving during IVF.

In 2002, a team of German researchers discovered that acupuncture significantly increased the odds of pregnancy among a group of 160 women who were undergoing IVF treatment. Forty-two percent of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant, compared to 26 percent of those who didn’t receive the treatment.

More recent clinical studies have shown that acupuncture can increase the odds of falling pregnant during IVF by up to 65%.n 2008,  the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a highly respected review of all of the research available at the time and concluded that “Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.” You can read the full report here:http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7643/545.short

NHS Choices website, which is funded by the Department of Health to provide evidence-based, objective information about healthcare, looked into the BMJ review and also concluded that “acupuncture has a positive effect on pregnancy rates when given with IVF.” You can read the NHS Choices analysis here: http://www.nhs.uk/…/J…/Pages/AcupunctureandsuccessofIVF.aspx

For an easy to follow explanation of how acupuncture supports IVF and assisted conception, from the point-of-view of a traditional acupuncturist, take a look at this article on the US site WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/…/features/ancient-art-of-infertility-….
This fact sheet (http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/…/a-to-z…/infertility-art.html) goes into more detail about the medical research that shows how acupuncture can increase the success of IVF.

And for an explanation of the reasons why acupuncture improves the odds of IVF, told by people who used traditional acupuncture alongside IVF, take a look at this video (http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2008/…/03/2205046.htm) of a news report by the Australian broadcaster ABC. Don’t worry if the video won’t play on your device, there’s a full transcript of the programme on the same page.