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Acupuncture and IVF treatment

Acupuncture and IVF treatmentAcupuncture is a method of Chinese medicine that people have been practicing for centuries.

It is classified as an alternative medicine method, but its positive effects are attested by many patients. It works well as a supportive treatment for various ailments, including fertility disorders.

Traditional and western medicine 

Combining classical and traditional eastern medicine has become popular practice that increases the effectiveness of treatment. And it also apllies to the field of assisted reproduction. Many studies have already shown that the most effective treatment for infertility involves a combination of Western medical practices and acupuncture. Acupuncture is a method known from Chinese medicine that is free of side effects and is very well tolerated. As one of the oldest healing methods, it has been used for thousands of years.

Chinese medicine defines two main causes of infertility, namely deficiency and blockage. The first case refers to a lack of reserves in the body, in layman's terms, such a patient may be physically quite well, looking healthy, but energetically she is parched or her blood is undernourished. In the second case, when the cause is a blockage, it is usually a problem on a psychological level (long-term stress, insecurity, bad experiences and memories, subconscious fears and so on).

Understanding acupuncture effects 

Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture are based on ancient medical theories. Thanks to advances in neurobiology and technology, it is only in recent decades that we are able to understand acupuncture effects and mechanisms, such as how the "acupuncture signal" is transmitted from a mechanical signal via an electrical signal to a biological signal that produces a biological response.

Recently, acupuncture has been used extensively for the treatment of infertility including ovulatory dysfunction, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer and male infertility. Results of studies of acupuncture treatment of infertile men have shown a positive effect on sperm concentration and motility, an increase in testosterone, and some improvement in luteinizing hormone levels.

These studies have also shown an increase in normally shaped sperm and a significant decrease in the percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm. Expert studies have shown that the use of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer increases the likelihood of pregnancy or can positively influence it.

Women who underwent acupuncture before and after transfer had a significantly higher pregnancy rate of 65% compared to others.

Acupuncture and fertilty facts

  • No negative effects

Although several small studies confirm that acupuncture combined with fertility treatment increases IVF success rates by up to 50%, large studies confirming these results are still lacking. But what is the good news? There is no evidence of negative effects of acupuncture on fertility.

  • Reduction of stress and depression

In traditional Chinese medicine, mental health is closely linked to physical health. Acupuncture treatment is renowned for its ability to relieve anxiety and stress by intervening in our body's energy channels.

  • Reducing the risk of miscarriage

As has been shown, high levels of cortisol - the stress hormone - can increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. Acupuncture can reduce the amount of this hormone and thus prevent further health problems.

  • Reduce unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy

In pregnancy, acupuncture becomes effective in the fight against morning sickness, fatigue and depression.

  • Increasing the chances of the effect of IVF treatment

According to a study involving thousands of women who were evaluated for the effectiveness of acupuncture as a supportive method for embryo transfer, acupuncture can increase the likelihood of pregnancy and successful deliveries and reduce the risk of miscarriage. The results may be particularly significant in women who have already undergone IVF cycles.

Further evidence comes from a study that compared the number of successful clinical pregnancies in two groups of patients. In the group that received acupuncture sessions before and after embryo transfer, the success rate was 42.5% compared to 26.3% in the control group that did not receive acupuncture.

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