Acupuncture may lower chances of conceiving through IVF

November 14th, 2007 - 2:23 am ICT by admin  
Earlier studies have shown that acupuncture could double a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, when combined with IVF by impacting the autonomic nervous system, making the lining of the uterus more receptive to receiving an embryo.

But the new study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that women who were given acupuncture were 37 percent less likely to conceive than those who were not.

For the study, researchers divided 97 patients into two groups. One group received acupuncture for 25 minutes before and after the embryo was transferred from the test tube to the womb, whereas the second group received no such treatment before or after their IVF cycle and acted as controls.

Analysis showed that pregnancy rate among the first group was 44 percent as compared to 70 percent among those who were not given the therapy.

“The results of our study suggest women having fertility treatment should not be advised to have acupuncture,” Scotsman quoted Dr LaTasha Craig, a fertility expert at the University of Oklahoma, as saying.

However, she added that, despite the apparent contradiction of previous studies, more research needed to be done.

Dr Craig explained that stress could have played a key role in producing worse results for women having acupuncture.

“We know stress matters in pregnancy rates. If you take a high stress situation of driving in busy traffic and parking to get to an acupuncture session and then getting to your embryo transfer on time, the benefits of acupuncture may be counteracted by extra stress,” she said.

Mark Bovey, of the British Acupuncture Council, said: “This seems to fly in the face of all the published research. Up to now, all the published research has indicated an increase in pregnancy rates and take-home baby rates.”

“Some practitioners treat hundreds of women having IVF each year and largely have good results with it,” he added. (ANI)

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