This is a story that I see regularly in my clinic. A woman comes to see me because she wants to get pregnant. She usually has been trying for several years, often has one or two failed IVF already. And she is desperate.
Desperate to finally get pregnant, desperate to see that last attempt work, to finally see her dream becoming a reality. And often she is heartbroken by the multiple failures. The periods that arrived every month. Again. The IVF cycle that didn’t work.
Most of the time, I am the last resort person. The one last thing that women try because they have nothing to lose and they are willing to try anything. And you know, it might help a little bit.
But does it work? Does acupuncture make any difference at all in the outcome of an IVF?
In my experience, yes it does and research is there to back it up too.
1. Acupuncture makes a difference to the number of live birth after IVF
A number of studies have shown that acupuncture is improving outcome among women undergoing IVF . The latest study is reporting that acupuncture can increase the success rate of an IVF cycle by up to 60%!
Another study is showing that receiving acupuncture around embryo transfer improves rates of live birth .
2. Acupuncture before the IVF helps regulating hormones, improves the oxygenation towards the uterus as well as the quality of the eggs.
For an IVF to be successful, its often worth spending the time to prepare the body before. It takes about 3 months for the follicle to grow into a mature egg. That’s 3 months when it’s possible to have any influence on the egg by ensuring the environment is the best possible during its development. 3 months to ensure that the lining of the uterus is just what it needs to be.
The aim is to boost fertility by improving the blood flow around the uterus and the ovaries, regulating hormones and the overall cycle and reducing inflammation, all of which has an influence on fertility.
And this has also been confirmed by research. For example, Doppler imaging has shown that acupuncture can affect the flow of blood in the body .
3. Acupuncture helps calming down the stress and the anxiety.
This, in itself, may or may not help the outcome but it certainly is making the whole process much easier. IVF is a very stressful treatment emotionally.
Because of the drugs and the effect of the hormones on the body but also because of the constant uncertainty. How is the cycle going, are the follicles developing? Are there enough follicles to go ahead with the collection? How good are the eggs, have they fertilised? How many have fertilised? How good are the embryos? Etc..
Each step of the IVF process opens up new questions, new uncertainties and new worries. Being able to get support and being heard during those times is essential.
Over to you, are you struggling with fertility issues?
We are offering a free 15 minutes consultation to learn more about how acupuncture can help you on your journey to a healthy pregnancy. Simply give us a call on 01642 794063 to schedule an appointment.
 Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Gynecol Obstet 2017 March
 Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and life birth amongst women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a systemic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2008 March
 Evaluation of the Effects of Acupuncture on Blood Flow in Humans with Ultrasound Color Doppler Imaging Evid Based Complement Aternt Med. 2012, 2012:513638