TCM and Fertility / TCM and IVF/ICSI
Traditional Chinese Medicine, using a combination of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture treatment, is helpful in enhancing one’s fertility, increase the chance of pregnancy either naturally or through Fertility Treatment.
In the recent years, there had been increasing scientific evidence to suggest that acupuncture during the time of In-vitro Fertilization (IVF)/Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Treatment increases the chance of pregnancy.
According to one of the study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US and the VU University Amsterdam, which involved a review of seven published trials.Women having acupuncture while undergoing IVF increase their chances of getting pregnant by 65 per cent. A total of 1,366 women undergoing IVF were included in the trials, which compared acupuncture given within one day of embryo transfer, sham acupuncture where needles are inserted away from points used in genuine acupuncture, and no additional treatment.
Women of various ages with different causes of infertility were included. The timing of the acupuncture sessions in relation to embryo transfer differed somewhat among trials.However, all the women received acupuncture immediately before or immediately after the embryo transfer. All the acupuncture sessions also lasted 25 to 30 minutes.
The review found a 65 per cent increased chance of falling pregnant with acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture or no treatment.
Another recent study by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Clinic for Human Reproduction, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil showed that acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF. This group of women have had at least 2 unsuccessful IVF in the past. A prospective, randomised controlled clinical trial was conducted . This study randomized the patients into acupuncture & moxibustion (treatment) group, control group & sham (fake acupuncture) group. The result shows a significant increased pregnancy rate in the group receiving acupuncture and moxibustion.
Systemic reviews of 24 trials (a total of 5,807 participants) showed that acupuncture improves Clinical Pregnancy Rates and Live Birth Rates among women undergoing IVF. the Live Birth Rate results tended to be significant when the acupuncture was performed around the time of oocyte aspiration or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
The scientific hypothesis behind the effect of acupuncture is that it improves blood flow to the uterus and improves the condition of uterus for implantation. Acupuncture around the time of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation may improve the blood flow to the ovaries and may improve the ovarian response to medication.
The main objectives of Chinese Medical Therapy include:
(1) Improve the function of the ovaries
(2) Strengthen the immune system and reduce stress
(3) Improve Semen quality & quantity
(4) Improve diet & life style
At Xi Fertility TCM centre, we recommend treatment plans following the scientific evidences:
(1) Before IVF/ICSI:
The combination of Acupuncture & Moxibustion and Herbal Medicine helps to prepare your body before an IVF/ICSI. This include strategies to improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, improves ovarian functions and enhance the condition of the lining of uterus to implantation rates
(2) During IVF/ICSI:
- During Controlled Ovarian Stimulation: Chinese Medicine (acupuncture & herbs) can be used to improve egg quality and quantity.
- After Egg Retrieval, before embryo transfer: Chinese Medicine helps to improve uterus environment.
- After embryo transfer: Acupuncture and herbs to improve implantation
(1) Zheng CH, Huang GY, Zhang MM, Wang W. Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Fertil Steril. 2012 Mar;97(3):599-611
(2) Villahermosa DI, Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP. Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial. Acupunct Med. 2013 Jun;31(2):157-61.