For decades, acupuncture has been used as a supplement or replacement of standard medical treatment.
The effect of this type of treatment is substantiated and well-documented, and it has therefore been natural to include acupuncture as yet another type of infertility treatment.
In the case of IVF/ICSI, acupuncture is given after the embryo transfer, in order to enhance the chances of implantation. The theory behind this is that the stimulation of specific acupuncture points will increase the blood supply to the uterus. Another theory is that acupuncture will avoid contractions in the uterus and thereby enhance the chances for achieving pregnancy.
Studies concerning the effect of acupuncture in IVF/ICSI treatments are conflicting. A reason for that is that most of the studies are small and thereby not conclusive. Some years ago, a meta-analysis conducted by an expert group concluded, that there was a significant and relevant effect of acupuncture when doing IVF. (British Medical Journal, March 2008; 336: 544-548). Because of that, we’ve decided to offer acupuncture after embryo transfer. According to our experience, women feel more relaxed and confident after these sessions.