Fertility Support Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a popular choice for fertility and conception support, having had mainstream media exposure since 2008, when a large meta-analysis of scientific studies was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ – Manheimer et al, 2008), and which showed acupuncture’s efficacy in increasing pregnancy rates from IVF procedures, compared to IVF procedures alone.
A large body of evidence in this area has grown, both for natural and IVF, ICSI and other types of assisted fertility (ART) procedures. These studies show that acupuncture improves blood flow to the uterus and ovaries (Khorram et al, 2005, Stener-Victorin et al, 1996), improves the thickness of the endometrium (uterus lining) and regulates the levels of the key hormones that govern the conception process, FSH, LH, GnRH, progesterone and oestrogen (Yu et al, 2007; Zhang et al, 2018; Stener-Victorin, 2006).
Acupuncture is also effective in PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and can regulate the menstrual cycle and stimulate ovulation (Lim et al, 2010, Stener-Victorin et al, 2014).
Khorram, N.M.; S. Horton, V. Sahakian The Effect of Acupuncture on Outcome of in Vitro Fertilization Fertility and Sterility, Vol.84, S364
Manheimer, E., Zhang, G., Udoff, L., Haramati, A., Langenberg, P., Berman, B.M. and Bouter, L.M., 2008. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj, 336(7643), pp.545-549.
Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstram U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7.
Stener-Victorin, E;A. Benrick, M. Kokosar, M. Maliqueo, C. Behre, K. H¸jlund, A. Sazonova Acupuncture increases whole body glucose uptake during and after stimulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome Fertility and Sterility, Vol.102:3, e29 Published in issue: September 2014
Yu, B. Horn, B. Acacio, D. Ni, R. Quintero, M. NourianiA Pilot Study Evaluating the Combination of Acupuncture with Sildenafil on Endometrial Thickness Fertility and Sterility, Vol.87:4, S23
Zhang, X., Lee, M.S., Smith, C.A., Robinson, N., Zhou, Y., Wu, Y., Mao, Y.Y. and Qu, F., 2018. Effects of acupuncture during in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 23, pp.14-25.