Alternative medicine might have more benefits that we give it credit for. A recent research states that women who have undergone acupuncture treatment have a better chance of conceiving a baby through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
According to reports, acupuncture increases the probability of becoming pregnant through IVF by six percent as it enables adequate blood flow to the uterus, which helps in the implantation of the embryo.
The study was conducted by a European fertility clinic on thousands of clients over three years. It observed that the acupuncture procedure stimulates the sensory nerves under our skin, in turn affecting the muscles and smoothening their function. Earlier, research conducted on this therapy found that it doubles the chance of a successful test-tube pregnancy.
"We realize that acupuncture for fertility is a controversial subject area and that not everyone will want to explore it as an option," Dr Hana Visnova, IVF Cube medical director in Prague, Czech Republic, which conducted the research, told Daily Mail. "But it's our view that anything we can do to tip the balance further in favor of a positive pregnancy is to be encouraged and studied further."
After analyzing 3,271 women and about 4,400 cycles through frozen embryo transfer (FET) procedures and own or donated egg therapies, the study found that out of 301 cycles with acupuncture, 201 cases tested positive for pregnancy, which gives it a 66 percent success rate. On the other hand, 4,087 cycles were observed without acupuncture, of which 2,458 cases recorded successful pregnancy, that is 60 percent.
The Chinese treatment was performed on the patients both before and after embryo implantation during the study. Experts believe that this treatment method, although unconventional, is hugely beneficial for the body. It targets particular pressure points throughout the body to help with pain relief by producing neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that transmit brain signals.
Not only with implantation, acupuncture also helps relieve terrible cramps in the abdomen and any discomfort in the cervix. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Although Chinese herbal medicines and treatment procedures are met with scepticism by many doctors, a 2016 study at Mawangdui Hospital in Hunan, China, has proved that this therapy produced 43.3 percent chance of getting pregnant whereas conventional drugs like bromocriptine and clomiphene produced only 20 percent.
If nothing else, acupuncture helps the body to become more conducive to implantation by relaxing it during the stressful procedure of IVF, believe experts.