Fertility research

Research and reviews

IVF clinics have improved their success rates steadily over the last decade or two, but in recent years these success rates have reached a plateau. Now that follicle stimulation, fertilization of eggs and embryo culture have been developed as far as current technology will allow, successful implantation of the embryo in the uterine lining is where improvement is needed to push success rates up again.

New developments in this area may be coming from an unexpected quarter. The last ten years have seen the publication in reputable medical journals, of the results of a number of clinical trials investigating the effect of acupuncture at the time of embryo transfer. Some of these trials have shown a significant increase in pregnancy rates when acupuncture is used before and after transfer.  Hence many clinics recommend acupuncture to women who have had previous failed cycles or who are 35 or older.

Most scientists and clinicians would agree that this is still a controversial area and that more research needs to be done before acupuncture is generally accepted as an integral part of IVF treatment protocols. There is a compelling body of evidence however, of increased numbers of live births among IVF patients having acupuncture, and based on their own clinical experience, a number of IVF clinics in the United States consider acupuncture a standard component of care for their IVF patients.