Acupuncture for IVF is not new. In fact one of the most important studies looking at IVF acupuncture success was published 16 years ago in 2002. The study looked at 160 women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART); 80 were randomised to receive acupuncture in the pre and post embryo transfer stage and 80 were not. The results showed that pregnancy rates among those women receiving acupuncture was 42.5% versus just 26.3% among those who did not have acupuncture. The study authors concluded that acupuncture is a useful tool for improving pregnancy rates after Assisted Reproductive Techniques. The methods used by this study team form the backbone of IVF acupuncture treatment used today in many clinics across the world.
Acupuncture for IVF was again under the spotlight in 2008 when the British Medical Journal published an analysis looking to see if the pregnancy rates from ART were still being bolstered by having acupuncture. Seven trials with 1366 women undergoing IVF were included in the meta-analyses and the results suggested, to quote the study authors, that “acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live births among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation”.
Alongside helping to achieve pregnancy, acupuncture is also very, very good at helping women to cope with the up’s and down’s of treatment and making the whole experience more manageable.
So if you’re considering IVF or other ART treatments, it’s worth considering acupuncture too.