IUI – Intrauterine Insemination & IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
Enhance Your Fertility and Increase Your IVF Success Rate with Acupuncture
“Studies reported by the American Pregnancy Association suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and traditional medical interventions.”
Promoting Fertility with Acupuncture
- Balancing the menstrual cycles, by shortening the length of the cycle and making them more regular and less painful. It also improves blood flow to the uterus, uterine artery, and ovaries.
- Stimulating the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis to balance hormone levels and promote ovulation.
- It normalizes all hormones (progesterone, estrogen, testosterone etc.) and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation.
- Assisting in the production of progesterone to maintain a healthy Luteal phase. This phase is critical for pregnancy. Progesterone builds the uterine lining to support implantation and maintain a healthy sustainable pregnancy.
Acupuncture can improve follicle growth and development:
Acupuncture points that are stimulated can increase blood supply to the uterus and ovaries.
A study published in 1996 in Human Reproduction (Stener-Victorin E, etal. Human Reproduction 1996; 11:1314-1317) concluded that acupuncture and eletro-stimulation improved blood flow to the uterine arteries and produced a thicker endometrial lining not only during the time of treatments, but for up to 14 days after the acupuncture. It also increased the success for implantation and pregnancy.
This study shows that acupuncture can be particularly useful to women that have blood flow issues to the uterus and ovaries, but it can help all women going through IVF.
Acupuncture improves IVF Success Rate:
Two Important Studies
1. A randomized 2002 study in Germany was conducted on 160 patients undergoing IVF ages 21 to 43. The acupuncture group received 25 minutes of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer. The control group received no acupuncture.
Results: 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in acupuncture group were pregnant. 21 of 80 patients (26.3%) in control group were pregnant.
Conclusion: Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rates after ART (assisted reproductive techniques).
2. In 2008, The British Medical Journal published research which concluded that acupuncture can be offered as a significant, clinically adjunct to IVF, relaxing the uterus and increasing blood flow for the successful implantation of an embryo within the uterine lining.
Acupuncture can enhance male fertility factors:
Male fertility factors account for 40% of all infertility cases.
Acupuncture along with healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, Chinese herbs and supplements can help increase sperm count, enhance sperm motility and morphology, and increase semen volume.
Acupuncture supports all phases of the IVF cycle:
During the stimulation phase, acupuncture helps improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus while reducing stress levels and side effects of the IVF drugs.
After egg retrieval, acupuncture alleviates abdominal cramping and bloating. This tends to decrease greatly with acupuncture treatments, reducing any inflammation and trauma. Essentially, it provides an optimal environment for the embryo implantation.
KEY TIMING FOR ACUPUNCTURE SUPPORTING IVF:
During the transfer and implantation phase, acupuncture has shown to directly increase the vascular response and suppress the “fight or flight response” in the nervous system. This process increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and therefore, leads to a higher rate of implantation of embryos and an increased rate of successful pregnancies.