Do the acupuncture treatments before and after IVF transfer really make a difference?
Based on the research literature, an extra 1 in 10 of those who received acupuncture immediately before and after IVF transfer had a positive pregnancy compared to those who just received the IVF therapy. This is a significant improvement in probability given the comparably small outlay for two IVF acupuncture treatments.
IVF acupuncture treatments before and after transfer is not consistent with how acupuncture is traditionally used. According to Chinese medical theory, acupuncture is administered for a course of treatments before a clinical outcome can be achieved. Implicit in this is the period of time for the acupuncture to take affect and manifest a successful clinical outcome. So, to suggest two acupuncture treatments on the day of IVF transfer can affect the outcome of pregnancy is theoretically against the paradigm of Chinese medicine. In normal circumstances, a reputable acupuncturist would not suggest they could treat infertility in two treatments on the one day. Though, IVF acupuncture treatments before and after transfer should not be dismissed. There is quantified scientific evidence which suggests these treatments do increase the chance of pregnancy.
At the Fertility and IVF Acupuncture Clinic we recommend all our IVF patients receive acupuncture on the day of IVF transfer. We follow a therapeutic philosophy which follows strict attention to detail. It is not in the best interests of our IVF patients to ignore the scientific evidence. This is an instance when we as acupuncturists should not be dogmatic and realise there are other influences outside our traditional theories. An increase in pregnancy rates of 1 in 10 should not be ignored.
For more information on the research and clinical trials on using acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF therapy look at the research page of this web site.