It is thought that acupuncture can enhance fertility and IVF treatments in many difference ways. Acupuncture has been proven in some research studies to affect levels of the ovarian and pituitary hormones by improving blood flow to certain parts of the female body. One particular area in which acupuncture could prove highly beneficial is in the uterus, in which it is believed to produce feelings of relaxation. By having a relaxed uterus during the time of implantation for IVF, it is believed to increase the chances of conception. Several research studies have also uncovered that the uterus contracts during IVF and it could result in the transfer being unsuccessful. It is believed that if the uterus were relaxed via acupuncture during the implantation process, which it could result in protecting the embryos from being expelled.
However, it is important to note that one study found that 164 women undergoing IVF and acupuncture did not experience a relaxing in the uterus. For couples trying to conceive, acupuncture and IVF may offer new hope despite the studies that say to the contrary. Stress plays an important role in the ability a woman has to conceive and when it is controlled, IVF can be more successful. Some doctors or fertility specialists recommend acupuncture for couples using IVF because it is believed they will respond more strongly to medication, produce more eggs and possibly have a higher conception rate. For women with ovulation issues, it is thought that acupuncture can be highly beneficial in helping the woman become pregnant. There has been no information stating that acupuncture and IVF are dangerous to a woman, but she should always consult with her personal physician prior to trying anything new.
Several studies showed that IVF when combined with acupuncture increased the odds of pregnancy by 65% and increased the odds of sustained pregnancy by as much as 8%. When acupuncture is added to IVF, one study also showed that the odds of a live birth were increased by 91%, rather than with IVF alone. With the promise of acupuncture and IVF for couples trying to conceive the statistical information points to all the advantages, which means it may be something to be explored when experiencing impaired fertility and undergoing in-vitro fertilization.