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How Acupuncture Helps Support In-Vitro Fertilization

If you are like many women, you have probably heard that acupuncture combined with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can help increase the chance of a successful pregnancy. Many women are having great results utilizing acupuncture to complement the IVF cycle. A recent study found acupuncture improves pregnancy success rate by 50% in women undergoing IVF. So how does this 3,000-year-old medicine actually help support IVF?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, disease and malfunction in the body result from a blockage in the flow of vital Qi (energy) and Blood. By removing these blockages and restoring a smooth normal flow, the body is able to restore health and optimum organ function. Through the use of hair-thin needles and Chinese herbs, Acupuncture Physicians are able to find and remove these blockages of Qi and Blood, allowing tissues and organs to heal themselves.

Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the body as a whole. When a woman receives acupuncture care for fertility, her entire picture of health is taken into consideration. By restoring the smooth flow of Qi and Blood within the body, her general well-being will improve and she will respond better to the I.V.F. process.

Researchers from The Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY have found that acupuncture helps:

  • Reduce stress hormones that interfere with ovulation.
  • Normalize hormones that regulate ovulation so an egg is released.
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus, improving the chances of embryo implantation.

Researchers determined stress to be a key factor in infertility. Acupuncture appears to reduce stress by releasing endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are chemicals that the body releases that suppress pain naturally, as well as affect hormones that influence the menstrual cycle. Acupuncture also influences levels of FSH and LH and has been found to regulate the communication between the brain and ovaries, known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis.

Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture aim at promoting the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles as well as induce ovulation. When used in conjunction with IVF Chinese medicine improves the quality of follicles. Endometrial thickness and uterine artery blood flow are important for implantation of human embryos during the transfer stage of IVF. With its central effect on the nervous system, acupuncture may contribute by dilating uterine arteries and blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to the endometrium. With a healthy endometrial lining, chances of a stable implantation and healthy pregnancy are increased. Acupuncture in non-toxic, affordable and is increasingly being used as a successful complement to In Vitro Fertilization.