We know women have menstrual cycles. In the middle of the cycles an egg is released from the ovary. In each cycle, only one egg is matured and released. For those who want to conceive with in vitro fertilization (IVF), one matured egg is not enough. Doctors use medications to stimulate ovaries to develop more follicles and eggs. With egg retrieval, doctors will get more than one eggs. These give them more eggs to work with. More eggs are very likely to lead to having two good qualities of embryos before the embryos are transferred back to uterus. These would increase IVF success rate. How many eggs do you need from egg retrieval? Generally speaking, 10-20 eggs are good numbers and better qualities. These may vary from clinic to clinic. Age has effect on these numbers; younger women give more eggs than older women. Women’s conditions also have impacts on the numbers retrieved. Women with more than 10 eggs retrieved have better chances to succeed.
What is natural cycle IVF? This is the IVF that takes place in your regular menstrual cycle. The fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries will not be applied. The eggs produced in women’s regular cycles will be collected and used for IVF. Normally a few eggs could be collected. This could be modified with a small dose of medication to achieve a goal of a few eggs collected. There are some advantages of natural cycle IVF. The cost per cycle of natural cycle IVF is lower. The treatment can be repeated every month. In stimulated IVF cycles, 2-3 month duration is recommended between the treatment cycles. There are more chances to create a normal embryo. Side effects from ovary stimulation drugs are minimised and there is no risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
In vitro fertilization (IVF) embryo transfer is one of the most successful infertility treatments. However, the success rate of IVF is not satisfactory. IVF is expensive, lengthy and stressful with low success rates. It also affects physical and mental health. New techniques have been developing to improve IVF success rates, one of which is acupuncture. More recently acupuncture has attracted clinicians attention by increasing IVF success rate. The first report that acupuncture increased IVF success rate was from Stener-Victorin et al in 1999. They applied acupuncture before occytes aspiration. They found that women in acupuncture group had significantly higher implantation rate, pregnancy rate and live birth rate in IVF embryo transfer.
Craig L et al performed a research to investigate the effect of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization (IVF) performed offsite. They recruited two groups: acupuncture group and control group. In acupuncture group the women were received acupuncture at offsite location for 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. The protocol they used was that the following points before ET: GV-20, CV-6, ST-29, SP-8, PC-6, LV-3; Shenmen and Brain on the left ear; and Uterus and Endocrine on the right ear. After transfer the points were LI-4, SP-10, ST-36, SP-6, KI-3; Uterus and Endocrine on the left ear; and Shenmen and Brain on the right ear. They found that the pregnancy rate was higher in control group than in acupuncture group. Recently Hullender Rubin LE et al did a chart review using the same protocol as Craig L et al. The research was conducted in a private infertility clinic. The patients underwent fresh donor (N70) or nondonor (N=402) IVF-ET interventions. They found that the protocol did not lower live birth rate in acupuncture group for non donor cycles; live birth rate in donor cycles is higher in acupuncture group than that for control group.
IVF with acupuncture support has higher live birth rate
Though the effectiveness is still in debate, as early as 2008, Eric Manheimer et al did first systematic review and mega analysis to investigate the effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates and live birth rates among women with infertility undergoing IVF. This review was published in BMJ. They analysed seven trials involved in 1366 women undergoing IVF. All trials were conducted in four different Western countries and published in English since 2002 in two of the leading reproductive medicine journals either in full articles or abstracts. In all trials, women received acupuncture immediately before or immediately after the embryo transfer. The acupuncture points selected in all trials are fixed and the acupuncture sessions lasted 25-30 minutes. No electroacupunture was involved. They showed that clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates were improved. There was no side effect found. Their conclusion is that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing IVF.
There was a new review that just came out by Zheng CH et al (July 2012). They did a systematic review to analyse effect of acupuncture during IVF. They found that there were 5 studies involved 463 women who were undergoing IVF. They were given acupuncture twice a week for 2 weeks during the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation period for IVF. All 5 studies showed that pregnant rate was higher in acupuncture group than that in control group for women undergoing IVF.They also analysed other applications of acupuncture during IVF which did not distinguish IVF success rate between acupuncture group and control group which only had one acupuncture treatment around egg collection or embryo implantation. They suggested that most of the courses of acupuncture treatment during IVF were too short to completely correct infertility states caused by long term imbalance. In addition, the acupuncture programs lacked syndrome differentiation and treatment according to individual characteristics. In conclusion, appropriate acupuncture during IVF with suitable time in the cycle, enough treatment courses and individual program is a promising technique to increase IVF success rate.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012 2012:543924
Craig L et al Fertil Steril (2007) 88 suppl 1:S40
Hullender Rubin LE et al (2013) Jan 30
Manheimer E et al (2008) BMJ 8: 545-549
Welcome to my blog
Acupuncture specialist for Fertility, Facial rejuvenation, Pain relief.
Based at Kensington and Harley Street Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Over 25 year research and clinical experiences
Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture
I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out.
This blog is to introduce latest development and research of acupuncture and offer a chance of awareness of more treatment options for your condition. The blog is for information purpose only.
- My specialised areas include fertility, facial rejuvenation, acne, various pain conditions, chronic fatigue, menopause and hormone regulation with acupuncture treatment.
Practice contact for appointments and addresses
Kensington: for appointments at Anamaya center Kensington (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) please call at 02030110355 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 1 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG
2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground stationHarley Street: for appointments at Harley Street (Wednesdays) please call ALO clinic at 02076368845 or email at email@example.comAddressSuite 3 Harmont House20 Harley Street, London W1G 9PH5 min walk from Oxford Circus underground stationMy background: I became a qualified medical doctor 25 years ago in Western medicine in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Particularly I was trained with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. Furthermore I had training in dermatology and oral and maxilofacial surgery in China. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognized as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.
I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.
I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.
I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.
I have many publications including ebooks and articles.
I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practicing, I have developed unique treatment approaches for infertility, skin aging, acne, vulvodynia, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain, fatigue, hot flushes, Parkison's disease etc to achieve best treatment results. My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients. These are examples that my patients say.
- My books--Know your ovary to get pregnant
- ----------------Get pregnant fast naturally
- ----------------Facial Aging, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
- ---------------Acne treatment with acupuncture
- ---------------Vulvodynia, is vulval pain in your mind?
- ---------------Energy, fatigue and acupuncture
- ---------------Headaches, Neck pain and Shoulder pain