Fertility Blog

IVF and Acupuncture for Infertility; Clinical Trial

Chinese medicine has been practiced in throughout Asia for thousands of years:in the last decade, the west has been following suit. There have been sufficient peer reviewed studies to warrant a clinical trial in which there are predictable parameters of patient involvement. One of the first studies involving acupuncture and IVF was published by Paulus et al in the journal Fertility Sterility in 2002. The Paulus study reported the influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproductive therapy. Clinical pregnancies were documented at 42.5% of patients in the acupuncture/IVF group, whereas pregnancy rates were 26.3% in the control group, using IVF alone. In this study, the acupuncture was performed before and after embryo transfer only. How does acupuncture affect fertility? A review article in Alternative Therapies (Anderson 2007) suggested four possible mechanisms by which acupuncture could improve the outcome of IVF: modulatingneuroendocrine factors; increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries; modulating cytokines; and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Posted on March 2nd, 2010

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