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Kuan-Chung Chou, LAc
Acupuncture Boosts IVF Success
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Acupuncture Boosts IVF Success

One in six couples experiences fertility problems. Every month more than a million couples experience the emotional pain and disappointment of failing to conceive. Women undergoing fertility treatment could have their chances of success boosted by acupuncture.

The medical community has been addressing this problem for many years and acupuncture may be an aid to assisted reproductive techniques (ART), improving ovarian response, uterine receptivity andincreasing the rate of pregnancy in women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

German research is showing that acupuncture can increase success rates by almost 50% in women having IVF. The report published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found the pregnancy rate in the group receiving acupuncture was 42.5%, compared to the group which did not receive the therapy, where the rate was 26.3%.

One study published in Fertility and Sterility reported that, “Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer (ET) significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women”. The results showed that the acupuncture group that received treatment the day of the transfer had a statistically significant higher rate of pregnancy than the control group which did not receive acupuncture.

Another study published in Fertility and Sterility, compared a true acupuncture to a placebo or sham acupuncture group. The results showed that the pregnancy rate was 31% in the true acupuncture group and 23% in the sham group. They also concluded that acupuncture was safe for women undergoing embryo transfer.

Acupuncture can help to restore health and balance the body, mind and spirit.Some of the areas where acupuncture can improve fertility are

Increasing endorphin production, which, in turn, has been shown to effect the release of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, a decapeptide involved in regulating reproduction.

Lowering stress hormones responsible for infertility.

Impacting on plasma levels of the fertility hormones follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P).

Normalization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis

A positivly effecting women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance
Regulation of menstrual cycles.

Affecting endometriosis, fibroids and cysts.

Helping to improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs.

Working to normalize hormone and en-docrine systems that regulate ovulation.

Affecting hormones to produce a larger number of follicles.

Increasing blood flow to the uterus which may help increase the thickness of the uterine lining, which improves the chances of an ovum implanting on the uterine wall.

Helping to regulate FSH levels.

Relaxing the patient thus reducing anxiety, stress, and the hormones that are secreted during stressful situations that can significantly decrease fertility.

Affecting sperm quality, quantity and mobility to create better quality and quantity of embryos.

Helping improve the success rate of IVF and IUI.

Working to decrease the chances of miscarriage.

It is believed in Chinese medicine that acupuncture can raise the fertility potential for women by affecting the quality, quantity, balance, and flow of Qi and blood. When Qi (life energy) and blood are circulating freely throughout the body, every cell, tissue and organ is properly nourished and functioning well. When this occurs, a womans health and fertility are increased.

Acupuncture is nontoxic and a relatively affordable alternative fertility treatment. Whether you are interested in enhancing your fertility naturally or alongside artificial reproductive technology (ART) such as IUI or IVF, acupuncture may be helpful.

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