Electro-Acupuncture Helps IVF Success
The IVF success rates of many of the clinics that routinely use acupuncture pre-and post embryo transfer however are very impressive such as the Colorado Center For Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).
Key studies have used a specific electro-acupuncture protocol twice a week for a month prior to IVF which is known to increase blood flow to the uterus and has also been shown to increase live birth rates. Electro-acupuncture is a form of acupuncture where a small painless current is applied through the needles using a battery powered stimulator.
Top infertility clinics such as Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) also routinely use this protocol in women with poor blood flow to their uterus which is known to disfavor implantation and increase miscarriage risks.
A 2011 Chinese study has shown that a different kind of electro-acupuncture protocol may boost IVF success rates.
The Chinese study - published in Fertility and Sterility - studied 309 women and discovered that those who received electro-acupuncture thirty minutes after embryo transfer were more far more likely to birth their babies than women who received simulated or sham acupuncture; thirty seven percent of the treated women gave birth compared to only twenty one percent who had the sham treatment.
Women who received an extra electro-acupuncture treatment on the day before the embryo transfer had an even higher birth rate of 42 percent.
If you are choosing acupuncture while undergoing IVF check the American Board Of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) website for a fertility specialist near to you who will be familiar with the protocols used in these and other studies.
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Ref. Increase of success rate for women undergoing embryo transfer by transcutaneous acupoint stimulation: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial. Zhang R. et al. Fertility and Sterility. Online 22 Aug 2011
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