Assisted Reproduction Therapy (ART) and Acupuncture

Did you know that acupuncture can help increase your chances of getting pregnant when using assisted reproductive therapy (ART)?

 

Yintang AcupunctureA study was published in 2002 to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in ART by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment right before and after the embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture.  160 patients undergoing ART who had good quality embryos were recruited for the study and divided into 2 groups randomly.  The first group had 80 patients who utilized acupuncture during their embryo transfer and a second group of 80 patients that did not receive acupuncture with their embryo transfer.

 

In the acupuncture group, 80 patients received acupuncture for 25 minutes before and after the embryo transfer.  In the control group, they did not receive any supportive therapy during the transfer.  The acupuncture points they chose for the study included points to relax the uterus, increase the blood flow to the uterus, sedate the patient, and stabilize the endocrine system.  Before the embryo transfer, the following points were given: PC6 (Neiguan), SP8 (Diji), LV3 (Taichong), GV20 (Baihui), and ST29 (Guilai).  After the embryo transfer, the following points were given: ST36 (Zusanli), SP6 (Sanyinjiao), SP10 (Xuehai), and LI4 (Hegu).  In addition, they used the following auricular acupuncture points: ear point 55 (Shenmen/Spirit Gate), ear point 58 (Zhigong/Uterus), ear point 22 (Neifenmi/Endocrine), and ear point 34 (Naodian/Subcortex).  Two needles were inserted in the right ear, the other two needles in the left ear.  The side of the auricular acupuncture switched after the embryo transfer.  All needles were inserted for 25 minutes.

 

There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with respect to the following covariants: age, number of previous cycles, number of transferred embryos, endometrial thickness, plasma estradiol on . day of transfer, method of treatment (IVF or ICSI).  However, the analysis showed that the pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group was considerably higher than the control group (42.5% vs 26.3%).

 

Paulus, Wolfgang E, et al. “Influence of Acupuncture on the Pregnancy Rate in Patients Who Undergo Assisted Reproduction Therapy.” Fertility and Sterility, vol. 77, no. 4, Apr. 2002, pp. 721-724., doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(01)03273-3.

 

If you are utilizing ART to help with your pregnancy, you should consider including acupuncture to increase your chances!

Posted in: Acupuncture

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