Research: Chinese Medicine and IVF

Using the Full Breadth of Chinese Medicine Can Improve IVF Outcomes

In a recent published study, women going through IVF were grouped in three different ways to assess pregnancy and live birth rates: no acupuncture with their IVF, protocol-based acupuncture and customized Chinese medicine treatments, where treatments were individualized according to patient's needs and Chinese medicine pattern diagnosis, while aiming to support the goals of the IVF phase.

Of 1,231 fresh cycles, live birth rates were 61.3% in the "whole systems" group compared to IVF alone (48.2%) and protocol acupuncture (50.8%).

In conclusion, when using the full breadth of Chinese medicine including diagnosis specific to the individual, which lends itself to customized acupuncture, herbal therapy, supplements, nutrition and lifestyle advice, the outcomes are even better than simply using protocol acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer (even though that's also much better than none at all!).

So, based on research, Integrative Fertility recommends getting preparatory acupuncture prior to your IVF cycle. However, we're happy to dive in with you wherever you are and support you to the best of our ability.


Lee E. Hullender Rubin, Michael S. Opsahl, Klaus Wiemer, Scott D. Mist, Aaron B. Caughey, Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in vitro fertilization outcomes, Reproductive BioMedicine Online (2015)

Research Summary: Acupuncture + IVF for Pregnancy

The following excerpt is from a paper which evaluated whether or not acupuncture improved pregnancy and live birth rates when combined with IVF:
The authors reviewed 7 clinical trials, which included 1,366 women undergoing one IVF cycle who received acupuncture within one day of embryo transfer versus women who received no acupuncture with their IVF.

In these studies, acupuncture combined with IVF Increased pregnancy by 65%, increased the likelihood of ongoing pregnancy by 87% and increased the likelihood of a live birth by 91%.

This evidence suggests that acupuncture alongside IVF may improve pregnancy and live birth rates.
To read the full paper, click here: http://www.eiccam.eu/pdfs/EICCAM_Research_Facts_21_acu_IVF_publication_e.pdf
Having said this, everyone is unique. So, please consult with your physician to make sure acupuncture is the right match for you.

contributed by Caylie See, L.Ac., FABORM