A very recent study in China observed the positive effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on specific patients undergoing treatment with IVF (In vitro-fertilization).
The research was designed to look for changes in ovarian function and pregnancy rates after a series of acupuncture treatments.
The study was comprised of a group of 63 women who were receiving IVF treatment and had a decline in ovarian reserve (DOR). A diminished ovarian reserve is a decrease in the number and quality of the remaining eggs.
These patients were randomly divided into 2 groups; the control group who received only IVF and the experimental group who also received “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy”.
The second group of women received acupuncture twice a week until the second menstrual cycle of oocyte (egg) retrieval. The total number of acupuncture treatments was 15.
Side note here… “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” is a carefully thought out method that uses different acupuncture points at different phases of the menstrual cycle.
This is a procedure I commonly use in my Chicago acupuncture clinic, though I always tailor it specifically for each patient. I do this whether the women are using assisted reproduction or not and I have found it to be very helpful.
The study found that the number of retrieved eggs, the number of high quality embryos and fertilizations were all increased in the group who received acupuncture.
In their conclusion, the authors stated,“The ‘menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy’ can effectively improve the ovarian reserve function in DOR patients, leading to an improved clinical pregnancy rate of IVF-ET.”
Source: Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2016 Jan;36(1):25-8.
[Effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on IVF-ET in patients with decline in ovarian reserve].
Zhou L, Xia Y, Ma X, Tang L, Lu J, Tang Q, Wang Y.