An increasing number of fertility specialists and centers offer acupuncture as a part of their IVF protocol. Limited but supportive evidence from clinical trials and case series suggests that acupuncture may improve the success rate of IVF and the quality of life of patients undergoing IVF and that it is a safe adjunct therapy. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal found that complementing the embryo transfer process with acupuncture was associated with significant and clinically relevant improvements in clinical pregnancy
Four mechanisms by which it has been suggested that acupuncture may improve IVF outcomes are:
· Neuroendocrinological modulations
· Increased blood flow to uterus and ovaries
· Modulation in cytokines
· Reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Electro-acupuncture in oocyte retrieval for IVF
Electro-acupuncture has been found to be a good alternative to conventional medical analgesia, it results in shorter hospitalisation times and lower costs.