Best Acupuncture Treatments for IVF
Over the past decade studies have helped us to better understand what can help and what may not be helpful when it comes to trying to improve IVF success rates. Acupuncture is not an exception.
The typical acupuncture that has been recommended before and after an embryo transfer for an IVF cycle has been shown to improve patient comfort and decrease stress, but it doesn't seem to improve IVF pregnancy rates.
Newer studies have shown that in order to improve IVF pregnancy rates by using acupuncture it is required to be done more frequently, i.e. starting before the IVF or before the embryo transfer and continuing with acupuncture during the implantation phase (the waiting period between the embryo transfer and having the pregnancy blood test done). But even within the acupuncture world it appears that there may be certain form of acupuncture that are more useful in improving success rates than other forms of acupuncture.
In particular, a recently published study looking at 1761 IVF and embryo transfer cycles found that having electroacupuncture (acupuncture with a mild micro-current attached to the needles) before and after embryo transfer (on the day of transfer) increased the pregnancy rate by 5% and the live birth rate by just over 6%. This is a significant increase considering that acupuncture was only done on the day of transfer in this study. So if youre expected success rate is around 35%, it may be able to go up to 40% by including just two acupuncture sessions.