Before starting the IVF programme ovarian reserve is tested in order to predict how well the ovaries will respond to the drugs. Generally, day 3 FSH, AMH and antral follicle counts are included.
The IVF programme starts by injecting medications to develop multiple follicles in the ovaries. The commonly used reagent is follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These injections continue to stimulate egg development for about 8-10 days.
When the eggs mature, they will be taken out from the ovaries. This is known as egg retrieval. Sperm sample will be taken before egg collection. After eggs are collected, the eggs will be rinsed and cultured in plastic culture dishes which are kept in specialized IVF incubators in IVF lab. And then sperms were mixed with eggs. If the eggs are fertilised, the embryos will be cultured 2-5 days before embryo transfer. The embryos at the two to eight cell stage will be transferred to the uterus. Some research showed that acupuncture performed on the day of embryo transfer could improve pregnant rate, but this is still in debate. Research showed that acupuncture at luteal phase has benefit; this is because acupuncture improves uterine blood flow.
After 9-11 days after the transfer, blood test could indentify if the pregnancy occurs. The procedure will vary from different protocols used in IVF and in different clinics.
How to choose an IVF clinic?
If you are planning to have IVF, you may want to know which IVF clinic is suitable for you. There are many IVF clinics in the UK for NHS treatment and private treatment. How to choose one? Success rate is an important factor to consider for women to choose a clinic. The success rates showed the number of pregnancies and live births and the numbers of all the treatments offered in the clinic. The National success rate in the UK is about 30%. The majority of clinics’ success rates are around the national average. You can find the success rates on the human fertilisation and embryology authority (HFEA) website http://guide.hfea.gov.uk/guide/ for all clinics it regulates. You can also find break down success rates there, for example, success rates for different age group, different types of treatments, different types of eggs etc. Success rates are affected by a few factors: the type of patients a clinic treats, for example their age, diagnosis and length of infertility; the type of treatment a clinic carries out; a clinic’s treatment practices. They have presented predicted future chances of live birth. From this you can predict your chances of success.
HFEA is the UK’s independent regulator managing the use of gametes and embryos in fertility treatment and research.
IVF is one of the most successful infertility treatments and this treatment brings hope for pregnancy for many people. However, the average IVF success rate per cycle using fresh. The majority of IVF cycles do not result in pregnancy. It is important to maximize the efficiency of the procedure. Many patients have turned to acupuncture treatments to increase the success rate of IVF.
How can acupuncture help IVF success? During the course of egg development, applying acupuncture can improve ovary blood flow to get better egg quality and quantity, meanwhile acupuncture improve uterine blood flow to get better uterine lining.
The first report was by Stener-Victorin et al. 15 years ago suggesting that acupuncture can increase the IVF clinical pregnancy rate (CPR). Since then application of acupuncture to IVF has attracted considerable interest from clinicians to patients themselves. In recent years, there have been many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating acupuncture in IVF. There were more positive effects from acupuncture during IVF from these researches if treatment times are appropriate, the treatment course is enough.
Acupuncture increased embryo implantation potentials
Kong FY et al investigated the effects of electroacupuncture on embryo implantation potential for patients with infertility. They allocated 210 patients into three groups according to their symptoms differentiated by traditional Chinese medicine. 82 cases of kidney deficiency was group A; 74 cases of liver qi stagnation was group B and 54 cases of phlegm dampness was group C. These patients with infertility were treated with electroacupuncture and in vitro fertilization and embryo transplantation (IVF-ET). Electroacupuncture was applied before controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and during ovarian hyperstimulation. The levels of human leukocytes antigen-G (HLA-G) in the serum were determined for evaluating embryo implantation potentials. HLA-G level was measured on the second day of the menstruation, on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection and on the day of embryo transfer. HLA-G may play a role in immune tolerance in pregnancy and its presence in embryo is associated with better pregnancy rates. They found that electroacupuncture can increase HLA-G for the patients undergoing IVF-ET; their HLA-G increased on hCG injection day and on embryo transfer day in group A and group B. This increased embryo implantation potential for patients with infertility. Eventually pregnancy rate was improved.
Acupuncture assists IVF to improve live birth rate
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a costly treatment option for those with infertility. Acupuncture as a complementary technique is applied to assist IVF and increase its success rate. Many researches assessing the effect of acupuncture during IVF were performed. They showed that acupuncture increased pregnancy rate and live birth rate by supporting IVF. But the methods used were varied. Recently a clinical trial protocol of effectiveness of acupuncture to improve live birth rate for women undergoing IVF was published. Smith CA et al conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture on assisting IVF. They will recruit women with infertility younger than 43 years of age undergoing IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The treatment protocol will be used. The initial diagnosis and treatment will take 60-90 minutes on days 6-8 of the stimulated IVF cycle. Two treatments will be given immediately before and after embryo transfer (ET). Patients are divided into three groups. 1 acupuncture group: 2 plaebo control: This group will be given placement of non-invasive sham needles. Duration of needling and treatment session is the same as for the acupuncture group. 3 usual care only group: they will receive standard care only. Live birth and pregnancy outcome will be analysed. The research will provide significant evidence for evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for assisting IVF.
Effects of electroacupuncture on IVF-ET for patients with poor ovarian response
There was a case report from Zhongguo Zhen Jiu – an acupuncture journal in China. They studied 60 patients with infertility with poor ovarian response and poor ovarian reserve undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET). These patients were divided into two groups: with acupuncture or without acupuncture; 30 cases were in each group. The effect was compared after treatment. After treatment, in acupuncture group, the symptoms of kidney deficiency were improved; estrdiol (E2) level was higher; egg maturation rate, fertilization rate and good quality embryo rate and implantation rate were higher on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection. The level of stem cell factor (SCF) in follicular fluid and serum was higher in the acupuncture group as well. More importantly the pregnancy rate was higher and abortion rate was lower in acupuncture group. This is a promising research for patients with poor ovarian response and poor ovarian reserve.
Luteal phase acupuncture increased pregnancy rate
Dieteril S et al studied the effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Patients with infertility undergo IVF/ICSI. 116 patients received luteal phase acupuncture and 109 patients were in control group receiving placebo acupuncture. They found that the clinical pregnancy rate and ongoing pregnancy rate in acupuncture group were 33.6% and 28.4% respectively which was significantly higher than those for the control group (15.6% and 13.8% respectively). Receiving luteal phase acupuncture is positive for increasing pregnancy rate of IVF and ICSI.
Acupuncture improves egg quality and pregnancy rate for patients with PCOS
Cui W et al investigated effects of acupuncture on egg quality and pregnancy for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET). There were 66 patients with PCOS and infertility and undergoing IVF-ET. These patients were divided into two groups randomly: 34 patients were in acupuncture group and other 32 patients were in control group. Ethinylestradiol and cyproterone acetate tablets and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist were applied for long-program superovulation in these patients. Electroacupuncture was applied in the acupuncture group. No intervention was applied in control group. They found that kidney deficiency symptom score was improved better in acupuncture group. All fertilization rate, cleavage rate and high quality embryos were higher in acupuncture group than that for control group. Pregnancy rate and stem cell factor (SCF) level were higher in acupuncture group. SCF is an important factor during embryo development. They concluded that electroacupuncture plays an important role in the pregnant outcomes of patients with PCOS undergoing IVF-ET. It reduces kidney deficiency symptoms and improves clinical pregnant rate by adjusting organic endocrinal system and the local micro-environment of ovary and improving egg quality through the up-regulation of SCF level.
Acupuncture indreases live birth in IVF with donor’s eggs
Acupuncture was first reported by Paulus et al to increase clinical pregnancy rate, when a standardized acupuncture protocol was performed immediately before and after fresh, nondonor IVF-ET. 160 patients were participated the study. 80 patients were randomized to the acupuncture group and 80 to the control group. The CPR was higher in the acupuncture group compared to the control group (42.5% versus 26.3%, p=0.03). After this study, similar studies were performed and positive results were also reported to support Paulus et al conclusion. More recently, Hullender Rubin LE et al modified Paulus’s protocol, they found that in donor cycles, live births were higher in the acupuncture group compared with control group.
Stener-Victorin E (1999) Hum Reprod 15:2480–2484.
Kong FY et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2012) 32:113-116
Cui W et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2011) 31:687-691
Smith CA et al Trials (2012) 18:13:60
Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2009) 29:775-9
Dieterle S et al Fertil Steril (2006) 85:1347-51
Hullender Rubin LE et al J Altern Complement Med (2013) 19:637-43
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.orgAddressSuite 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