Acupuncture and IVF. A Winning Combination
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help women get pregnant. With infertility at an all time high, women and men are seeking alternative therapies to help them get healthy, and have children. How can an ancient medicine help families through such a modern and complicated fertility journey? Well surprising to many- it helps, a lot. In this blog post, I want to just share with you a few of the benefits acupuncture has on fertility, as well as some recent research that validates this ancient medicine.
How can tiny little needles help women get pregnant? In Chinese medicine we say things like “move qi” and “increase vital yang and Jing”. All of this is obviously confusing if you’ve never had any formal TCM training, it sounds well…foreign. So instead of speaking in TCM talk with you, I’m going to explain how acupuncture can help in western medicine terminology.
First, acupuncture is a great tool to help bring blood flow to the reproductive organs including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. This brings oxygen and other nutrients with it, which is great for growing follicles and building a healthy lining on the uterus. Acupuncture decreases inflammation, and clears toxin. This is beneficial for getting rid of those nasty side effects that can pop up with IVF and IUI drugs. Acupuncture releases endorphins which inhibit the stress response. Basically, it relaxes you and makes you feel good. Lastly, acupuncture has been shown to influence neurotransmitters, which can have a positive effect on hormone regulation, sleep, and digestion.
This is all great, but is there research that actually backs any of this? In a time of climate change deniers and flat Earthers, research and science is more important than ever, especially for complementary medicines. I am so excited that the research coming out on acupuncture during IVF validates acupuncture over and over again. There are a few big studies that have come out recently that I want to share with you. First is the Manheimer study, from the British Medical Journal, showed that acupuncture improves the rate of pregnancy and live births significantly. They tested over 1,300 women who were undergoing IVF. Another study analyzed over 1,000 women, and found that acupuncture during IVF, along with herbs, nutritional and lifestyle changes improved live birth rates by 77%. THAT IS MASSIVE! What we know from the research is that, getting acupuncture regularly BEFORE IVF and IUI increases your chances of pregnancy, as well as just getting acupuncture the day of transfer. The Paulus study, published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility looked at the effects of pregnancy rates with performed immediately before and after embryo transfer, the results were amazing. 43% of test subjects that had received acupuncture had a fetal sac at six weeks, compared to only 26% for those who did not receive acupuncture.
More and more studies come out, all over the world, supporting acupuncture during such a complicated and expensive procedure. Just last week a study released in the European Journal of Integrative medicine showed statistically significant differences between those who got acupuncture, and those who did not, concluding that acupuncture did indeed effect live birth outcomes.
It is worth getting acupuncture for your fertility. Simple.
Even if you are not going through IVF, acupuncture can still help you have a baby. Come see me if you have questions and get started. Also trust me, the Earth is not flat