Acupuncture confirmed to boost chances of women getting pregnant via IVF
Doctors and gynaecologists often dismiss acupuncture as an alternative treatment which isn’t scientifically proven to boost fertility, but as it turns out, there’s evidence to the contrary. New research shows that this treatment does increase your chances of getting pregnant – for women who are going through IVF, at the very least.
Before talking about the new findings, let’s delve into past research. Back in 2016, researchers from the Homerton University Hospital studied 127 women who were undergoing IVF, and concluded that acupuncture did have a positive impact on fertility. In this study, half of the 127 women underwent acupuncture sessions whilst they had their IVF, and the other half did not. Whilst an impressive 46.2% of women who did go through acupuncture conceived, only 21.7% of the other group did the same.
The bottom line? The findings from this study were extremely promising – that’s for sure. But the general consensus was that the study wasn’t comprehensive enough to confirm that acupuncture does have such a profound effect on fertility.
New study involves 3271 women
With this 2018 study led by Dr Hana Visnova, medical director at IVF Cube in Prague, the aim was to look at a significantly larger quantity of data, and achieve greater accuracy. Dr Visnova and her team analysed data from 3,271 women and nearly 4,400 cycles, including frozen embryo transfer (FET) procedures, cycles involving a patient’s own eggs, and cycles involving donated eggs. They eventually concluded that acupuncture does help women get pregnant via IVF – but by a relatively slim margin of 6%. Out of the cycles without acupuncture, women experienced a 60% pregnancy rate. Out of the cycles involving acupuncture, the pregnancy rate increased to 66%.
How does acupuncture help women to get pregnant?
At the very basic level, acupuncture is highly effective in helping women cope with stress. Here’s why this is so important: many women get pretty stressed out when undergoing IVF, which means that their bodies go into “fight or flight” mode at any sign of perceived danger. It goes without saying that this is not conducive to reproductive health.
Also, according to Tereza Rakin, IVF Cube’s acupuncturist, acupuncture increases the blood flow to the uterus, while producing neurotransmitters which deal with pain relief. This essentially makes the lining of the uterus more receptive to an embryo, resulting in a higher chance of successful implantation. At the same time, acupuncture also helps relax the cervix, and prevent painful cramps. This contributes to a higher chance of a successful embryo transfer.
Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka
If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!