What do the studies tell us?
According to available research data, acupuncture could promote fertility in at least five ways:
1) No negative effects
Although several minor studies attest that acupuncture combined with fertility treatments increases IVF success rates by up to 50%, there is a lack of large-scale studies confirming these results. The good news? There is no evidence of the negative effects of acupuncture on fertility.
2) Reduction of stress and depression
In traditional Chinese medicine, mental health is closely linked to physical health. Acupuncture treatments are known for their ability to relieve anxiety and stress through the intervention on the energy channels of our body.
3) Reduction of miscarriage
As demonstrated, high levels of cortisol - the stress hormone - can increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. Acupuncture support can be useful to reduce the quantities of this hormone and avoid further problems.
4) Reduction of unpleasant pregnancy symptoms
Once pregnancy is reached, acupuncture becomes an ally in the fight against morning sickness, fatigue, and depression.
5) Benefits on IVF
According to a study involving 5130 women to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as additional support for embryo transfer, acupuncture can increase the chances of pregnancy and live births in the presence of a transfer, together with decreasing the risk of miscarriage. The effects can be significant for women who have already undergone other IVF cycles.
Further evidence comes from a study that compared the rates of clinical pregnancies across two groups of patients. In the group that performed acupuncture sessions before and after the embryo transfer, the percentage recorded was 42,5%, compared to 26,3% in the control group who did not use acupuncture.
What doubts do we still have?
1) Large scale studies
To this day, the data collected on the relationship between acupuncture and infertility derive from meta-analyses summarizing previous minor studies. Research carried out on larger samples would be able to provide more reliable results.
2) What is the best approach to acupuncture?
Regarding IVF, some details remain to be confirmed, such as the best time to perform acupuncture during treatment or the minimum number of sessions. With the holistic approach to fertility that we offer you, each patient will receive a specialized treatment tailored to their specific needs.
Summing up, the available data allow us to suggest acupuncture as additional support to your IVF treatment to increase the chances of conception. When combined with the medical intervention typical of Western medicine, acupuncture techniques allow you to approach the path against infertility from a holistic and thus more complete and effective perspective.