Acupuncture May Improve IVF Pregnancy Rates

In October I posted British Medical Journal Reports that Acupuncture Increased the Chances of Pregnancy with IVF by 65% here is some more information on the exciting study that came out in 2008.

From the BMJ Group, Monday 11 February 2008

What does the new study say?

The new study found that having acupuncture either just before or just after an embryo is transferred into a woman’s womb increases the overall chances of getting pregnant by 65 per cent. The chances of staying pregnant and having a baby were also increased by a similar amount.

The study found that:

19 in 100 women who had IVF alone had a baby
31 in 100 women who had acupuncture along with IVF had a baby.

Tell me more about the study’s findings

The researchers looked at the results from seven good-quality studies (called randomised controlled trials), which involved a total of 1,366 women who were having IVF. In the studies some women had IVF together with acupuncture, while some had IVF with pretend acupuncture (for a placebo) or no extra treatment. All the acupuncture sessions lasted 25 to 30 minutes

The researchers also suggested a number of ways in which acupuncture may work. They said it could influence a woman’s menstrual cycle, or stimulate blood flow to the womb; or it may lower the body’s stress response to IVF by stimulating natural, painkilling chemicals.

Only two of the studies reported on the possible side effects of having acupuncture. Both studies found there were no serious side effects. The researchers pointed out that previous research has shown acupuncture to be safe among women at various stages of pregnancy.

Where does the report come from?

The study was done by researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. and the University of Amsterdam. It was published online in the medical journal BMJ (British Medical Journal).

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