Research done in Germany* demonstrated an increase of nearly 50% in the conception rate of women undergoing IVF who used acupuncture. The acupuncture sessions took place immediately before and after the transfer of the embryo. This is known as the 'German Protocol', a technique I have used with some success and offer at my clinic. I also prefer to treat women generally, as I am sure this further enhances the chance of IVF success and indeed of taking the pregnancy through to birth.
[*Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K: Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril 2002; 77(4): 721-4.]
CASE STUDY: IVF
I have helped several women through IVF. One 40-year-old woman called me when she was pregnant after IVF, but at six weeks was losing blood. Her husband was abroad and she was alone. It was night, and I made a home visit. She was terrified that, after all she had been through, she might lose the baby. In Chinese medicine we talk about 'restless foetus' and that is what I treated. The bleeding slowed, then stopped and she was settled. I treated and supported her right through pregnancy. In the final four weeks she had my pre-birth acupuncture. Her baby was born naturally, to term. Two years later she had IVF again, including the German acupuncture protocol, and her second child was also born naturally.