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Female Infertility

Research on the Effects of Acupuncture to Improve Fertility

Today, acupuncture is one of the most studied alternative fertility treatments.  Recent studies show that acupuncture may significantly increase pregnancy rates.  Below are some of the relevant publications on clinical trials of IVF acupuncture – and it is studies like these that are increasing the confidence of physicians and fertility specialists in the benefits of acupuncture.

Source: Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer.  Smith C et al, Fertil Steril 2006 Vol 85, pg 1352-1358

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The pregnancy rate was 31% in the acupuncture group and 23% in the control group.  The ongoing pregnancy rate at 18 weeks was higher in the treatment group (28% vs. 18%).  Results suggest that acupuncture was safe for women undergoing ET.

Source: Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women.  Westergaard, L et al, Fertil Steril 2006 Vol 85, pg 1341-1346

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Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture.  Repeating acupuncture on ET day +2 provided no additional beneficial effect

Source: Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  Dieterle S et al, Fertil Steril 2006 Vol 85, pg 1347-1351

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Luteal-phase acupuncutre has a positive effect on the outcome of IVF/ICSI.

Source:The effect of acupuncture on outcomes in in-vitro fertilzation (IVF).  Udoff L. C. et al, Fertil Steril 2007 Vol 86, Suppl 1, pg S145

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It is feasible to conduct a randomized, blinded, sham control trail to study the impact of acupuncture on IVF success rates.  Such a protocol is well accepted by patients.  Preliminary data shows a statistically significant improvement in the biochemical pregnancy rate with acupuncture treatment.  Additionally, acupuncture was associated with a strong trend towards higher clinical pregnancy rates and take home baby rates, though more patients will need to be studied to reach any final conclusions.

Source: The effect of acupuncture in assisted reproduction techniques.  Teshima D. R. K. et al, Fertil Steril 2007 Vol 88, Suppl 1, pg S330

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Acupuncture seems to be an important coadjuvent in the treatment of infertility with  IVF or ICSI, and further research is needed to demonstrate its precise effect.

Source: Acupuncture & IVF poor responders: a cure?  Magarelli P, Cridennda D, Fertil Steril 2004 Vol 81, Suppl 3, pg S20

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Significant increases in pregnancy outcomes were confirmed by this study and the data uniquely supported the advantage of acupuncture in patients with normal Pulsatility index.  We also demonstrated that both acupuncture treatment protocols could be used together with a synergistic effect.  Finally, this study is the first to demonstrate that the use of acupuncture in patients with poor prognosis (elevated peak FSH, longer history of infertility, poor sperm morphology) can achieve similar pregnancy rates to normal prognosis patients.

Source: Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.  Paulus W et al, Fertil Steril 2002 Vol 77, pg 721-724

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Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.  Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

Source: Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.  Stener-Victorin E, et al, Hum Reprod 1996 Vol 11, pg 1314-1317

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After 8 acupuncture treatments blood flow to the uterus was markedly increased

Source: Study evaluating acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF.  Quintero R et al, Fertil Steril 2004 Vol 81, Suppl 3, pg S11-12

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Acupuncture improves ovarion response to gonadotropins.  When IVF is combined with standard acupuncture, a significantly lower amount of gonadotropins are used.  A 70% pregnancy rate was also achieved with standard acupuncture and IVF, compared to 25% .  Larger prospective trails are necessary.

Source: Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer improves pregnancy rates.  Youran D et al, Fertil Steril 2006 Vol 90, Suppl 1, pg S240

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Perhaps these positive results are related to two important factors. The treatments were performed on-site, eliminating the stress of traveling to another site before and after the embryo transfer.  Also, the acupuncture treatment protocol did not follow the traditional Paulus protocol, thereby suggesting there is still more research to be done on how best to treat infertility issues with acupuncture.

Find out more about how Acutoronto can  help with Female infertility and help you attain your dream of a family.

 

Male Infertility

Research on Acupuncture and Male Fertility

Source: Quantitative Evaluation of Spermatozoa Ultrastructure After Acupuncture Treatment for Idiopathic Male Infertility.  Pei J et al, Fertil Steril July 2005

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The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture.  A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture, although we did not identify specific sperm pathologies that could be particularly sensitive to this therapy.

Source: A Prospective Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effect of Acupuncture on Infertile Patients with Severe Oligosthenozoospermia.  Dieterle et al, Fertil Steril Oct 2009

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This small clinical trial randomized 57 patients who had extremely low sperm counts to acupuncture and placebo acupuncture groups.  After receiving acupuncture twice a week for 6 weeks, motility of sperm (but no overall count) was found to increase significantly.  The authors concluded that the results of the present study support the significance of acupuncture in male patients with severe oligoasthenozzospermia.  More evidence with larger trials needs to be accumulated before the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in male infertility can be evaluated.

Source: Influence of Acupuncture on Idiopathic Male infertility in Assisted Reporductive Technology.  Zhang M et al, Jounral of Huazhong University of Science and Technology [Medical Sciences ] Sept 2002, Vol 22, Issue 3, pp 228-230.

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This study investigated the effects of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in sperm parameter and on therapeutic results in assisted reproductive technology.  22 patients failed in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with idiopathic male infertility were treated with acupuncture twice weekly for 8 weeks, followed by ICSI treatment again.  The sperm concentration, motility, morphology, fertilization rates and embryo quality were observed.  After acupuncture treatment quick sperm motility , normal sperm ratio,  fertilization rates and embryo quality were increased and improved.  However there was no significant difference in sperm concentration and general sperm motility before and after acupuncture.  Therefore the study concluded that acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilization rates in assisted reproductive technology.

Source: Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer improves pregnancy rates.  Youran D et al, Fertil Steril 2006 Vol 90, Suppl 1, pg S240

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Find out more about how Acutoronto can  help with male infertility, improve sperm count, quality and motility.

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