If you are interested in learning how acupuncture can help with IVF, you are probably already aware of the potential benefits of alternative therapies. This ancient Chinese practice can bring a number of positive effects on both the male and female reproductive systems and can increase the chance of a successful implantation and decrease the chance of miscarriage.
One of the simple ways in which acupuncture can help is by inducing relaxation. One German study indicated a success rate of 42% compared with a pregnancy rate of 26% in those not having acupuncture. According to this paper, this was partly attributable to a lowering of stress hormone levels following the treatment.
Regulates Hormones and Improves Egg Quality
Another way in which acupuncture can help with IVF is by treating problems in the pituitary gland and hypothalmus, the areas within the brain which are responsible for hormone production. The needles used can stimulate the release of endorphins which, in turn can influence the production of reproductive hormones which help to control the menstrual cycle. This can regulate the ovarian function and produce a normal cycle with healthier eggs.
Reduces Side Effects Of Fertility Drugs
The fertility drugs used in IVF can actually have side effects which can inhibit fertility, such as Clomid, which can produce a thin womb lining which is detrimental to sustaining an embryo. The increase in blood supply brought about by acupuncture can help to produce a thick, healthy uterine lining. One survey showed that women who received 2 acupuncture treatments – one 25 minute before embryo transfer and another 25 minutes afterwards had a higher pregnancy rate than women not having the procedure.
Lower Miscarriage Rates
Another way acupuncture can help with IVF is to lower miscarriage rates. In one study, where successful embryo rates were almost identical, the miscarriage rate amongst those having acupuncture was 8%, compared to 14% in those not having the procedure. Interestingly, the ectopic pregnancy rate was also lower.
More and more experts are recommending acupuncture as a complementary procedure to run alongside IVF. As there is no evidence to suggest that it has any harmful side effects, it would seem like a good idea to give it careful consideration.