Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves the placing of thin, stainless steel needles at certain spots on the body. The theory behind undergoing acupuncture during IVF is that it increases blood flow, which may help with embryo implantation. In other words, ultrasounds have shown that acupuncture can improve uterine blood flow, which may create a more hospitable environment for implantation. One thing most doctors and scientists seem to agree on is that acupuncture can show a sedative effect on patients, reduce the levels of stress and bring to a synchronization the mind and soul.
IVF is a costly treatment option for women, their partners, and the public. Therefore new therapies that improve reproductive and health outcomes are highly desirable. There is a growing body of research evaluating the effect of acupuncture administered during IVF, and specifically on the day of embryo transfer (ET). There are a greater number of women now attempting pregnancy at an older age when they are less fertile; and consequently a growing number of couples accessing Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). The first systematic review was published in 2008 and this review found that acupuncture as an adjunct to ET was associated with statistically and clinically significant increases in the pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth rates.
Assisted reproductive technologies are often inaccessible. Evidence points to acupuncture offering an opportunity to promote natural fertility. An individual could, definitely, benefit from acupuncture because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.
Acupuncture can begin, anytime, during the fertility treatment. However, always ask your doctor for a referral to an acupuncturist who treats infertility. Acupuncture has be proved to be essentially beneficial in terms of a better embryo implantation and higher pregnancy success rates. Thus, it constitutes a complementary therapy during an assisted reproduction treatment.