How Acupuncture Works to Improve IVF Outcomes

Acupuncture is obviously improving the success rates of high tech reproductive medicine. Just how acupuncture does this is evidenced by many studies:

  • A woman’s response to hormonal therapy can be dramatically improved by acupuncture because acupuncture can increase blood flow to the reproductive organs.
  • Acupuncture has been shown to regulate hormone levels by moderating the release of beta-endorphin levels in the brain, which improves the release of gonadatrophin releasing hormone by the hypothalamus, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland, and estrogen and progesterone levels from the ovary.
  • Acupuncture reduces stress and a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system response.
  • Acupuncture has been speculated to moderate cyclooxygenase and prostaglandin levels in the uterus, reducing uterine motility to improve implantation rates.

In 2002, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine reported that in a study of 114 women who were receiving in-vitro fertilization (IVF), half were given acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer while the other half received IVF only. The outcome was impressive; of the women who received IVF and acupuncture, 51 percent became pregnant as opposed to 36 percent of those who received IVF only. In addition, the miscarriage rate in the acupuncture group was only 8 percent as opposed to 20 percent in the control group.

Herbal Therapies ‘Can Help Boost Fertility’ Experts Cite Benefits of Alternative Treatments

Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be crucial tools for childless couples, according to fertility experts who gathered last night for an event to mark the 30th anniversary of IVF.