Understanding IVF Acupuncture research.

Does IVF Acupuncture increase pregnancy rates?

Acupuncture has been used as a form of treatment for thousands of years.  Interestingly over the last twenty years or so we have seen this ancient treatment combined with one of the worlds most modern treatments IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).  Many people using IVF are also combining IVF Acupuncture support treatment.  The big question is does IVF Acupuncture increase pregnancy rates?  In this blog article we are going to discuss a research article that asks this very question, “Effects of Acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis” published in Fertility and Sterility Vol 97, No. 3 March 2012.  This article concludes Acupuncture does improve pregnancy rates, let’s take a closer look at this IVF Acupuncture research.

In approximately 1999 it was first reported that Acupuncture can increase the clinical pregnancy rates of IVF.  Since then many clinical research trials have examined IVF Acupuncture and its effectiveness.  It seems however the jury is still out when it comes to a definitive verdict relating to Acupuncture effectiveness when used to support IVF.  In the article  researchers have combined the data of twenty four research trials involving Acupuncture and IVF. They aim to evaluate the overall effects of Acupuncture on IVF outcome results.  In the world of research this type of study is called a Meta-analysis.  A meta-analysis is a way of reviewing research and combining it together to draw a final conclusion.

The researchers searched thoroughly to find suitable Acupuncture trials to include in their study.  In the end twenty-four Acupuncture research trials were chosen that in total involved 5,807 participants.  The research trial had been conducted all around the world in nine different countries.  The trials were divided into three categories based on the time in the IVF cycle the Acupuncture was given, these were as follows

  1. Acupuncture performed around embryo transfer
  2. Acupuncture performed around oocyte aspiration (egg pick up)
  3. Acupuncture mainly performed during ovary stimulation phase

The success of the IVF acupuncture trials was measured based on the clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates.  Clinical pregnancy rates means when a clinic confirms a positive pregnancy test.  Live birth rate means when a baby is actually born.  After compiling and analysing all the data the researchers concluded that Acupuncture does improve clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates when used by women undergoing IVF.  What a wonderful confirmation supporting the use of Acupuncture during IVF.  At Hatch Therapies we encourage all women using IVF to incorporate IVF Acupuncture support.  We are experienced in providing Acupuncture IVF support treatment at all stages of your IVF treatment.