I qualified as an acupuncturist in 1995 and it is a field of work that I have loved from the beginning of my studies. The breadth and depth of the subject is endlessly fascinating to me. Over the last 25 years my practice naturally evolved more towards women’s health and then my post graduate studies concentrated on gynaecology and assisted fertility support. I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council and when I see patients face to face rather than having a remote online session I often recommend a course of treatment for both partners when they are preparing for or actively trying to conceive.
Acupuncture has a positive impact on the birth rate of subtotal women undergoing IVF or exceed a study has shown a recent systematic review found acupuncture to significantly improve birth rates
A summary of previous reviews found acupuncture to significantly improve clinical pregnancy rates and it is a suitable treatment option to help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
How are results calculated?
A recent systematic review and meta analysis (which is the highest level of research for evaluating the facts of a treatment) a total of 3’188 subfertile women from a 12 randomised control trials were included in the latest investigation.
What did the research find?
Acupuncture significantly improve the live birth rate of subfertile patients undergoing IVF & ICSI
This is important because in the UK the overall birth rate following assisted reproduction is only 21 to 22% whether from a fresh or frozen cycle. The birthrate of course varies with age the most successful being an under 35-year-old (29%) diminishing to only 7% between the age of 43 and 44. (The human fertilisation and embryology authority study)
Live birth rates are considered the most important measure of success for subtotal people undergoing treatment.
Acupuncture improves emotional well-being during IVF. Assisted reproduction treatments can be stressful emotionally, physically and financially and interventions to support the psychological impact of subfertility and fertility treatment should be offered.
Studies indicate that acupuncture treatment can reduce stress and or anxiety and increase women’s ability to cope with the IVF process.
When should you have acupuncture?
A comprehensive acupuncture treatment management strategy may be required leading up to a cycle, pre-treatment, during ovarian stimulation, with the aim to influence the development of ovarian follicles. This is to increase blood supply.
In addition, treatment may also be provided around embryo transfer and shortly afterwards during the two week wait before a pregnancy test to possibly influence implantation and relieve stress and anxiety resulting from uncertainty.