For those considering IVF, acupuncture increases your chances of conception by 65% !
A surprising new study has demonstrated that women undergoing in vitro fertilization have a higher rate of pregnancy and live birth if they receive acupuncture at the time of their embryo transfer. The study, which looked at 1,366 women in seven different studies undergoing IVF along with acupuncture, a sham treatment or no additional treatment, found that the odds of achieving pregnancy were increased by 65% if a patient underwent acupuncture within 1 day of embryo transfer. One of the strengths of this study, is that it included women of different ages, types and durations of infertility.
These results probably don’t come as a surprise to the Chinese, who have been using acupuncture for centuries to regulate the female reproductive system. While modern scientists don’t know why acupuncture impacts fertility, they hypothesize that it could be related to neurotransmitter release, increased blood flow to the uterus, or a decreased stress response from the release of naturally produced opioids.
The 65% increase shown in this study means that for every ten women undergoing IVF, one additional woman would successfully become pregnant. Considering the cost of in vitro fertilization, which averages at over $12,000 per cycle in the US, any safe and effective means for increasing the success rate would be well received by the 10-15% of couples who seek fertility treatment at some point while trying to conceive.