Deciding to pursue IVF is not a step anyone takes lightly. It is a demanding process and often follows years of hope, frustration and grief. But there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasant and more likely to bring you the result you want, the birth of your baby.
Acupuncture can make a significant contribution not only to how you feel during your IVF cycle but will increase the chance of success for some couples.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a very long history of helping infertile couples in China and Korea. And in the last few decades TCM has helped the increasing numbers of couples in western countries who want to have a baby but struggle with infertility.
Acupuncture and IVF come from very different origins and work in very different ways, and at first may seem to be unlikely partners. However there are sound reasons for an integrated approach which can offer you a greater chance of getting pregnant and giving birth.
A large number of clinical trials have been conducted around the world, check out key points from recent studies:
- Acupuncture before IVF increases chances of conception by 65%
- A randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study showed that the pregnancy rates more than doubled (15.6% to 33.6%) for IVF/ICSI treatment when acupuncture was given.
- A randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study showed that miscarriage rates decreased (15.4% to 11.8%) for IVF/ICSI treatment when acupuncture was given.
- A randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study showed that implantation rates almost tripled (5.9% to 14.2%) for IVF/ICSI treatment when acupuncture was given.
It has also been demonstrated that acupuncture regulates stress hormone levels and reduces anxiety related to infertility and the IVF process.
Although men have a less active role to play during the IVF procedures, the sperm is every bit as important as the egg. While embryologists can give a lot of help to sperm that are not so good at fertilising eggs by injecting them directly into the egg, they cannot improve the vitality of sperm. Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture can improve sperm quality, in particular morphology and motility.