- Increase the uterine lining thickness. A major cause of infertility and IVF failure is a thin uterine lining, or inadequate blood flow to the uterus. Research and clinical experience show acupuncture has great ability to stimulate blood flow to reproductive organs and in many cases thicken the uterine lining.
- Increase the number of follicles and the quality of eggs produced. Obtaining sufficient high-quality eggs is the single most important factor in getting pregnant through IVF
- Increase the probability of implantation. A study performed by a German medical group found that women undergoing IVF became pregnant at a rate of 26%. When acupuncture was done before and after the transfer procedure, the success rate climbed to 43% – a 60% improvement in outcome.
- Improve sperm quality. Men can benefit from fertility treatment as well. Several studies show that acupuncture improves all 3 parameters of sperm quality – sperm count, sperm motility, and the percentage of normal sperm.
- Relieve stress. IVF is one of the most stressful events a woman can go through. Acupuncture is particularly able to relieve stress and achieve relaxation. This not only makes the process more pleasant, but increases the probability of success as well.
- Relieve side effects. The drugs used during IVF and IUI often have unpleasant side effects. Acupuncture can reduce or eliminate those side effects, making the experience far less stressful.
” … In conclusion, most of the existing studies suggest a positive effect of acupuncture in infertility treatment. Firstly, acupuncture may improve ovulation by modulating the central and peripheral nervous systems, the neuroendocrine and endocrine systems, the ovarian blood flow, and metabolism. Secondly, acupuncture can improve the outcome of IVF-ET, and the mechanisms may be related to the increased uterine blood flow, inhibited uterine motility, and the anesis of depression, anxiety and stress. Its effect on modulating immune function also suggests helpfulness in improving the outcome of IVF-ET. Finally, the studies suggest that acupuncture plays a positive role in male infertility, the mechanism of which is not yet clear.”
– Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, May 2011
Following are links to medical journal articles on acupuncture and ART:
- Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study
- Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture
- The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: A pilot study
- Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer
- Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during contr0lled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization – embryo transfer treatment