Acupuncture Research indicates that traditional acupuncture
Increases IVF success rate
Improves sperm quality
Optimises blood supply to the Uterus
Lowers the need for an epidural
Some of the many research trials are discussed below:
ACUPUNCTURE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVES IVF SUCCESS
In a Danish study to investigate the befits of acupuncture in assisted reproduction (IVF and ICSI), women were randomly assigned to three groups. One received acupuncture only on the day of embryo transfer (immediately before and immediately after transfer), one received additional acupuncture two days later, and a control group received no acupuncture. Clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates were significantly higher in the acupuncture groups than the controls, but the additional treatment given two days after transfer appeared to confer no additional benefit. (Westergaard LG et al. Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1341-6).
Over a period of three years in a private practice 22 patients entering assisted reproduction therapy were given acupuncture. Treatment was given, usually weekly, during the IVF cycle and immediately before and after embryo transfer. The success rate was 57.7% compared to 45.3% for patients in the IVF unit not treated with acupuncture. (Johnson D. Acupuncture prior to and at embryo transfer in an assisted conception unit – a case series. Acupuncture in Medicine (2006) 24; 1: 23-28).
ACUPUNCTURE REDUCES EPIDURALS
A Norwegian study has shown that women who receive acupuncture during labour have a significantly reduced rate of epidural anaesthesia. (Nesheim BI, Kinge R. Performance of acupuncture as labor analgesia in the clinical setting. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2006;85(4):441-3).
Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women:
a prospective, randomized trial:: Westergaard LG, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006 Apr 4; [Epub ahead of print]
This is the most recent study once again demonstrating that acupuncture increases ongoing pregnancies by over 60% when compared to control subjects.
Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study.: Dieterle S, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006 Apr 7; [Epub ahead of print[ T his study examined 225 IVF/ICSI patients. The group that received true acupuncture showed improvements in ongoing pregnancies of 106% compared to subjects that received a sham acupuncture treatment.
Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer: Smith C, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006 Apr 4; [Epub ahead of print] This study examined 228 IVF patients. The group that received true acupuncture showed improvements in ongoing pregnancies of over 50% compared to subjects that received a sham acupuncture treatment. This is very clinically significant, though it did not rise to the level of statistical significance.
Influence of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy: Paulus, et.al. Fertility and Sterility Vol: 77, No. 4, APRIL 2002. This landmark study demonstrated that women undergoing acupuncture treatments with a specific acupoint protocol had an increase in ongoing pregnancy rates of over 60%, compared to control subjects that did not receive acupuncture.
Acupuncture & IVF poor responders: a cure?: Magarelli et.al. Fertility and Sterility Vol: 81, Supplement 3, April, 2004 This retrospective study found a 39% increase in IVF pregnancy rates with a modified protocol. This study examined both poor responders and good responders. Poor responders that received acupuncture had the same pregnancy rates as normal prognosis patients. In this study, poor responders were defined as those with elevated Peak FSH, longer history of infertility or poor sperm morphology. When poor responders were excluded, the increase in pregnancies went up to 42%. The acupuncture group had significantly lower miscarriages, no ectopic pregnancies and significantly greater live births than the non-acupuncture group.
Acupuncture for treatment of climacteric syndrome--a report of 35 cases.Shen X. et. al. J Tradit Chin Med. 2005 Mar;25(1):3-6. In this study acupuncture was found to elevate abnormally low estradiol levels and to lower abnormally elevated FSH and LH levels due to climacteric syndrome.
Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality: Siterman et.al. Arch Androl, 39(2):155-61 1997 Sep-Oct)
This study demonstrated that acupuncture can increase both sperm quality and quantity
Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. Gurfinkel et.al. Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8
This study showed that men receiving acupuncture had significant increases in the percentage of normal-form sperm relative to controls
Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Pei J. et. al. Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7.
Another study demonstrating improvements in sperm quality after the administration of acupuncture.
Controlled study on acupuncture for treatment of endocrine dysfunctional infertility Yang JR, et. al. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2005 May;25(5):299-300 In this study, acupuncture was compared to Clomid administration in the treatment of endocrine dysfunction infertility. The study found acupuncture to have significantly higher pregnancy rates than Clomid administration (65% versus 45%). The study concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for infertility secondary to endocrine dysfunction.