Acupuncture and Fertility: Does It Help to Conceive With or Without IVF?

It is well publicised over the past few years in the media that acupuncture can assist natural fertility and improving the success of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment prognosis. In UK, It is known that 10-15% of couples are facing difficulties in conceiving at some point in their reproductive life and seeking help from specialist in fertility treatment.

Some women used the Western treatment option of IVF which consists of retrieving the egg(s) from their ovaries, fertilising the egg(s) in the laboratory and then transferring the embryo back into the woman’s womb (uterus). A research clinical trial indicated that 70% of women undergoing IVF procedure are more likely to be pregnant when this treatment was combined with acupuncture. The research showed that acupuncture treatment before or immediately after the embryo transfer to the womb can stimulate the release of the neurotransmitter hormone which triggers the secretion of gonadotrorphin-releasing hormone (controlling the menstrual cycles and women’s ovulation) (British Medical Journal 2008). Furthermore, the acupuncture also increases blood flow to the womb and enhances the secretion of the good feeling hormone, call endorphin (the naturally produced morphine)

As the IVF procedure is expensive, time-consuming and stressful, acupuncture has a long history of helping fertility by:

-                      Enhances the healthy growth of the womb’s lining and thickens an unresponsive endometrium.

-                      To lower the elevated FSH (Follicular Stimulating Hormone) levels.

-                      Increases and regulates the female hormones.

-                      Increases blood flow circulation to the reproductive organs.

-                      Reduces most of stresses, particularly the stress associated with fertility problems.

The success of acupuncture combined with Western treatment in IVF has been demonstrated in the recent research clinical trial. It showed that acupuncture has significantly increased the effectiveness of IVF, with pregnancies of 34 out of 80 patients (42.5%) were in the acupuncture group (manual and electrical acupuncture) as compared to 21 out of 80 patients (26.3%) in the control group (with only Western Orthodox treatment). 

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