IVF clinics have improved their success rates steadily over the last decade or two. But in recent years these success rates have reached a plateau. Now that follicle stimulation, fertilization of eggs and embryo culture have been developed as far as current technology will allow, successful implantation of the embryo in the uterine lining is where improvement is needed to push success rates up again.

New developments in this area may be coming from an unexpected quarter. The last ten years have seen the publication in reputable medical journals, of the results of a number of clinical trials investigating the effect of acupuncture at the time of embryo transfer. Some of these trials have shown a significant increase in pregnancy rates when acupuncture is used and others have shown little effect. More research is needed in this area to discover if there is a particular group of women who do benefit from acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer. It appears that where the overall expectation of pregnancy is high (ie the control group rate was around 50% or more) then acupuncture performed on the day of embryo transfer confers no benefit. However where control group pregnancy rates were lower (around 30%) acupuncture appears to add a significant benefit. Hence many clinics recommend acupuncture to women who have had previous failed cycles or who are 35 or older.

Most scientists and clinicians would agree that this is still a controversial area and that more research needs to be done before acupuncture is generally accepted as an integral part of IVF treatment protocols. There is a compelling body of evidence however, of increased numbers of live births among IVF patients having acupuncture, and based on their own clinical experience, a number of IVF clinics in the United States consider acupuncture a standard component of care for their IVF patients.

The acupuncture IVF support clinic is actively involved in research projects in conjunction with IVF Australia, Genea and other IVF centres to examine the mechanism of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in increasing implantation and pregnancy rates.

Rubrieken: Acupunctuur, Opleiding acupunctuur, Traditionele chinese geneeskunde ~ Trackback