Acupuncture dose matters when it comes to IVF support!

Here is a  list of  some interesting research  that highlights why  the dose of acupuncture matters ! Amy Forth Acupuncture aims to get this right.

Shen C et al, 2015 Gynecol Obstet Invest 79:1-12 Gynaecological and Obstetric Investigations

A review of 21 Random Control trials (that included nearly 5,500 patients) concluded that while acupuncture administered to IVF patients only at the time of embryo transfer did not confer any significant advantage, acupuncture administered during the IVF cycle stimulation phase and/or during implantation phase in addition to treatment at the time of transfer showed significant improvement in pregnancy rates.

 

Qian Y et al, 2016 Arch Gynecol Obstet Dec p 1-16

Archives of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Data from nearly six and a half thousand women undergoing IVF reveals that acupuncture improves pregnancy rates especially when it is carried out in the stimulation phase of the IVF cycle when the follicles are developing. In general studies carried out in Asia using electro acupuncture showed a stronger trend to improved IVF outcomes than did non-Asian studies that did not use electro-acupuncture.

Zheng CH et al, 2012 Fert Sterile, Vol. 97, Issue 3, 599-611 Fertility and Sterility

Researchers from China have analysed results of nearly 6000 women participating in trials examining the effect of acupuncture during IVF. They found that pregnancy rates and birth rates were improved by acupuncture when compared to women having no acupuncture (but not when compared to women having placebo acupuncture with a blunt needle). They also noted that increased birth rates were noted when acupuncture was administered throughout stimulation cycle.

 

Zheng CH et al, Eid Based Complement Alternate Med. 2012; vol 2012: 543924.

Evidence Based Complementary and Alternate Medicine

This review is another analysis by the same team who also published their results in Fertility and Sterility 2012 (see below). In this review (6000 patients) they emphasise that the effects of administering individualised acupuncture treatments throughout the IVF cycle rather than just at the time of embryo transfer, produces higher pregnancy and birth rates

This final research  not related to fertility however show the impact of dose.

–Cumulative dose Trials providing ≤3 treatments did not appear to show a trend towards reduced pain compared to those with >3 treatments for immediate, short-term or long-term outcomes.
–There appear to be relationships between treatment timing and mode of needle stimulation, and menstrual pain outcomes. Needle location, number of needles used and frequency of treatment show clear dose-response relationships with menstrual pain outcomes.
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–Future RCTs should be designed to explore directly the potential effects of variable acupuncture dose