Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

Commonly known as ART, Assisted Reproductive Technologies is a general term used to describe a number of different medical procedures designed to increase the probability of fertilization and to promote implantation.  Some of these procedures include:

• DET - Donor Egg Transfer
• FET - Frozen Embryo Transfer
• ICSI - Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
• IUI - Intrauterine Insemination
• IVF/ET - In Vitro Fertilization/Embryo Transfer
• TET - Tubal Embryo Transfer
• ZIFT - Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer

We work closely with several Western infertility specialists to enhance the effectiveness of ART procedures by incorporating acupuncture both before and after your procedure.  The treatment protocol utilized by the Acupuncture Fertility Center® combines specific acupuncture points to help relax the mind and improve blood flow, with relaxation therapy and healing touch to optimize the ability of the endometrium to receive the embryo.

ART and Acupuncture

A study, published in the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility by researchers in Germany and China, found that "acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART." (2)  The study involved 160 patients undergoing ART (IVF and ICSI).  The group was split randomly into a control group that underwent embryo transfer without acupuncture treatments and an experimental group that received acupuncture treatments 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer.

The study included only patients whose embryo quality was considered to be good.  The cause of infertility, methods used for sperm preparation, and culture conditions were the same for both groups.  All patients received hormone therapy before and after the transfer, and a maximum of three embryos were transferred into each woman's uterus.

"The primary point of the study was to determine whether acupuncture improves the clinical pregnancy rate [the presence of a fetal sac 6 weeks after embryo transfer] after IVF or ICSI treatment." (2)  Clinical pregnancy was achieved in 26.3% of the control group (21 of 80), whereas clinical pregnancy was achieved in 42.5% of the experimental group (34 of 80).  The researchers concluded that "the results demonstrate that acupuncture therapy improves pregnancy rate." (2)

2 - Paulus M.D., Wolfgang E., et. al.  "Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproductive therapy", Fertility and Sterility, vol. 77, no. 4, April 2002, Elsevier Science, Inc.

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