Acupuncture and fertility

Acupuncture is used to treat all manner of of health concerns, but has been proven particularly effective in increasing the success rates for couples attempting to achieve pregnancy through IVF.

by Sima Aidun —

There are many different ways to reach a single goal. Both Chinese and Western medicine have accomplished great feats over the last century, treating numerous diseases, saving thousands of lives and improving the quality of life for others. By utilizing the best these two worlds have to offer, it is possible to increase the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

A German study done in 2002 showed that of the 80 women who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 women got pregnant, a success rate of 42.5 percent. Of the 80 women involved in the study who received IVF without any acupuncture treatments, only 21 women (26.3 percent) became pregnant.

More recently, an American study involving 130 women focused not only on pregnancy rates, but also emphasized whether or not the baby was carried to term. The study showed that 51 percent of the women who had acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant, versus only 45 percent of the women who had IVF alone. The lower miscarriage rate was statistically significant in the acupuncture group (8 percent in the control group vs. 11 percent in the acupuncture group).

There were no ectopic pregnancies in the acupuncture group. The number of live births was significantly higher in the acupuncture vs. control groups (42 percent acupuncture versus 38 percent control). A surprising observation was that multiple pregnancies were significantly lower in the acupuncture vs. control groups (17 percent versus 22 percent). The average number of eggs retrieved was statistically equal, 15 versus 15 for acupuncture and control, respectively. A large number of patients who have tried IVF several times unsuccessfully have soon become pregnant after using Chinese medicine treatments.

In clinical observations, ultrasound shows the color of women’s ovaries changing from cloudy to bright and clear, following the treatments. Also, the follicles (structures that hold the egg inside) usually double in number, the lining of the uterus or womb becomes thicker and the number of embryos increases significantly. Patients experience fewer side effects from the Western drugs and feel more at ease and happy. For male patients, acupuncture can increase the quality of semen and the number of sperm.

Acupuncture, an ancient method for treating different ailments, is used to treat all manner of of health concerns, but has been proven particularly effective in increasing the success rates for couples attempting to achieve pregnancy through IVF.

 

Dr. Sima Aidun is a naturopathic medical doctor focusing on women’s healthcare. She specializes in annual women’s wellness exams and uses bio-identical hormones, clinical nutrition, acupuncture and botanical medicine. 480-281-1462 or draidun@cox.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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