A study showing that acupuncture can help women having IVF to conceive has gotten good coverage in the United Kingdom. Here are the highlights……
Women who underwent the ancient Chinese treatment during IVF treatment increased their chances of having a baby from one in five to one in three, ( from 20% to 33%) according to the major scientific study.
Researchers led by Dr Ying Cheong, from the reproductive medicine unit at the University of Southampton and the city’s Princess Anne hospital, looked at 13 studies carried out worldwide, involving more than 2,000 IVF patients who combined acupuncture with their fertility treatment. They concluded that ‘acupuncture around the time of embryo transfer achieves a higher live birth rate of 35 per cent compared with 22 per cent without active acupuncture’.
Embryo transfer is when an embryo that has been fertilized in the laboratory is implanted into a woman’s womb. Chances for a successful pregnancy increased significantly if a woman had acupuncture around the same time as the transfer but not if the treatment took place a few days later.
Dr Cheong said: ‘We show that acupuncture, performed at the right stage, can have significant benefit. A woman who does so has a much greater chance of having a live birth than a woman who doesn’t have acupuncture.’
Many women seeking to become pregnant already use alternative therapies such as acupuncture to help them cope with their treatment and general stress. In my Chicago practice I encourage women to start treatment before the IVF transfer.