Home > Women's Health > Can Acupuncture Help IVF Patients?

Can Acupuncture Help IVF Patients?

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 28 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Ivf; Acupuncture; Channels; Energy;

Anyone has undergone, is currently receiving treatment for or knows someone who has experienced IVF will understand the importance of being aware of any possible factors that may improve the chance of success and this may or may not include using acupuncture.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient method of channeling and freeing energy by unblocking the associated paths of energy in and out of the body. This is performed by inserting very fine needles into the appropriate places and forcing the energy to flow freely through the newly cleared channels. Once this energy has been allowed to flow freely it can help heal the mind and body and ease symptoms, treat some illnesses and prevent others from occurring at all.

The person carrying out the acupuncture must be properly trained in the procedure and understand not only how to insert the needles safely and cleanly, but whereabouts on the body they should be inserted and how this relates to corresponding body parts.

How Does It Help IVF Patients?

It had previously been thought that using acupuncture had proven to boost the success rates of IVF patients as the initial outcome of studies had appeared quite promising but further research carried out just a few years later seem to contradict this theory.

It had first been surmised that the lining of the uterus was more susceptible to an embryo after acupuncture had been carried out just before the embryo was transferred into the recipient's uterus and experts were hopeful that this research would help many IVF couples in their quest to conceive a pregnancy. However, it was found later that when the study was carried out again the successful pregnancy rate had dropped in the participating patients.

What Do The Experts Think?

Most experts tend to agree that more extensive research needs to be carried out in order to prove or disprove each theory as the sample numbers of each study were quite low.The problems identified with this include the willingness of participants to take part in a study as most patients will not put their treatment at risk if there is a chance the acupuncture may hinder a positive result, and that the stress of not only undergoing IVF treatment in general, but the added stress of receiving acupuncture if this is not a pleasurable experience for the patient may produce lower results.

Further Research

Fertility experts and practitioners would generally like to try and not only carry out a further study of the theory but gain a better understanding of how acupuncture may either help or hinder the pregnancy success rate by discovering the actual physiological effects on the female body.

Acupuncture is currently used as an alternative method to managing nausea and pain in many patients who believe in the practice and so far positive results have been shown in these areas though a full understanding of how the practice works is not known in these areas either.

Undergoing IVF is a very emotional and challenging experience for patients and it can be very troublesome to discover such contradictory research such as that surrounding the use of acupuncture.It is essential for any couple considering the practice to carry out full research on the subject before receiving IVF treatment or acupuncture so they can make a fully informed choice about their treatment options.

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