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Acupuncture Benefits for IVF in Research

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

In last week’s blog, I discussed the findings of some interesting research done comparing IVF groups receiving no acupuncture, two standard acupuncture treatments the day of embryo transfer, as well as a third group receiving WS-TCM (Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine).  WS-TCM is a term that refers to the complex combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle modifications customized for each patient.  WS-TCM also describes how traditionally acupuncture is incorporated to treat not just fertility patients but all conditions.  As you may guess, the third group benefitted the most, having the highest rate of live births.  You can view the study in detail here:

Impact of Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine on In Vitro Fertilization Outcomes

This week, I wanted to continue the discussion about the benefits acupuncture for IVF.  In my practice, patients see me for acupuncture and WS-TCM specifically for fertility and co-factors for infertility such as endometriosis, PCOS, ammenorrhea, fibroids, and irregular cycles.  During IVF cycles, the goal of acupuncture treatments include:

  • Reducing common side-effects of fertility drugs: headaches, migraines, bloating, GI distress, and depression
  • Reducing general anxiety and stress
  • Improving endometrial lining measurements
  • Improving blood flow to the uterus
  • Reducing uterine contractility before and after embryo transfer
  • Increasing follicle numbers & egg quality
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Strengthening the immune system

Many research studies have attempted to look at those very specific physiological outcomes as listed above.  Research studies have been conducted on acupuncture and infertility all over the world including Germany, China, Australia, Sweden, as well as the United States since 2002.  One of the first studies published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in April 2002 out of Germany showed that pregnancy rates increased from 26.3% to 42.5% after acupuncture treatments scheduled within a half- hour of the embryo transfer.  There have been several studies published since in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility showing similar results.  A 2004 study published by the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Centre in Colorado Springs showed that acupuncture improved the rate of pregnancy from 36% to 51%, decreased miscarriage rates from 14% to 8%, decreased tubal or ectopic pregnancies, and most importantly increased the rates of live birth from 35% to 42%.

Additionally, studies performed as early as 1996 have examined protocols using electro-acupuncture as a means of improving reduced uterine arterial blood-flow, a measurement thought to be indicative of endometrial receptivity.  The study had good outcomes which you can read more about here:

Electro-acupuncture & Uterine Arterial Blood Flow

In conclusion, there is a growing body of evidence that acupuncture is effective in doing what acupuncturists have known for thousands of years.  Next week, I’ll discuss my recommendations to patients for acupuncture treatment for fertility outside of the research

Interested in learning more about acupuncture for fertility?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. Jessica first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Following her acupuncture licensure, she became a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Areas of specialty include women’s health, pregnancy, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. For patients interested in learning more about acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please click here.

Book online for any acupuncture service in our Boston location or contact OMBE for additional information.

~ by admin on June 4, 2017.


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