Acupuncture is a well tried and tested system which originated from China and is used worldwide to restore, promote and maintain good health of lady so that she can conceive more quickly and carry on pregnancy with least chances of abortion.
In conjunction with needling, moxibustion and electro acupuncture is also used in selected patients if need be.
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to health and regards illness as a sign that the body is out of balance. The exact pattern and degree of imbalance is unique to each individual.
The doctor’s skill lies in identifying the exact nature of disharmony and selecting the most effective acupuncture points, specific to the patient’s needs.
How Acupuncture is done
- During acupuncture, patient lies on bed comfortably.
- Patient does not need any special preparation before acupuncture.
- Locations of acupuncture points on her body points are cleaned by alcohol swab.
- Very fine needles are swiftly inserted on acupuncture points.
- If needed, few acupuncture needles are stimulated with the help of electro stimulator for 10 minutes
- Needles are left in place and the patient keeps lying for another half an hour.
- During this session patients normally sleep.
- Needles are taken out after half an hour and discarded.
- No special after care is needed.
- Patient can leave clinic after 10-15 minutes.
- Patient should come three times in a week for better results.
- If thrice a week is not possible then it should be repeated whenever possible because each sitting of acupuncture is beneficial for better results
Usefulness of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is of great help to all those who want to produce child. It is useful in :
A. Treating infertility in conjunction with IVF
B. Maintain pregnancy once the lady has conceived.
Acupuncture in conjunction with IVF and helps in infertility when combined with IVF in following ways:
- It regulates fertility hormones.
- It promotes release of beta endorphins in the brain which regulates hormones useful for pregnancy. (Anderson 2007, Huang 2008, Stener-Victorin 2010).
- It increases blood flow to the reproductive organs (Ho 2009, Andersan 2009).
- Increased blood flow improves the thickness of endometrial lining and so increases the chances of implantation. (Lim 2010 ).
- It increases egg production (Jin 2009) and its quality (Chen 2009).
- It increases embryo implantation (Lin 2008).
Supportive Clinical Trials
- An observational study in which 104 women with unexplained infertility received acupuncture over a period of six menstrual cycles. 23 completed the whole course with 14 pregnancies (61%) leading to 10 live births and 4 miscarriages. The outcome was encouraging.
Park JJ, Kang M, Shin S, Choi E et al. Unexplained infertility treated with acupuncture in Korea. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Feb; 16(2): 193-8
- A randomised controlled trial with 240 women with hormonal infertility, 160 got acupuncture and 80 got medications. The pregnancy rate was 65% in acupuncture group and 45% in medication group, a statistically significant difference (p < 0.5)
Yang JR, Ma YY, Liu YL, Wang HL, Liu Z Controlled study on acupuncture for treatment of endocrine functional infertility. Zhongguo Zhenjiu. 2005; 25(5): 299-300
- A radomised controlled trial that evaluated the effect of acupuncture on reproductive outcome in 273 women undergoing IVF concluded that acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF compared to no acupuncture group.
Westergaard LG et al. Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer: a prospective randomized trial. Fertil Steril 2006;85:1341-6
- A study that looked whether changes in seum cortisol and prolactin are affected by acupuncture in IVF patients. In all 67 infertile women undergoing IVF were grouped as controls ( IVF with no acupuncture) and treated ( IVF with acupuncture ). Both cortisol and prolactin levels were higher in acupuncture group on IVF days 7,8,9,11,12 and 13 compared with controls.
The researchers concluded that there appears to be beneficial regulation of cortisol and prolactin with acupuncture during IVF treatment
Magarelli PC et al. Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation – embryo transfer treatment. Fertil Steril 2008; 92(6): 1870-9