Several studies had been done to understand the affects of acupuncture on different age group of women undergoing IVF.
Study One: Older Women may benefit more from Acupuncture
A recent study by Nick Dalton Brewer in 2010 found that women aged 35 to 39 years and those over 40 years achieved higher pregnancy rates than those who did not receive acupuncture treatment. In this particular study, 71 patients underwent acupuncture before and after embryo transfer. Overall, positive pregnancy rates were 44.6% comparing favorably with the non-acupuncture historic control group. When analyzed in more details, by maternal age at the time of treatment, biochemical pregnancy results for acupuncture treated women was 52% (less than 35 years old), 45% (35-39 years old) and 35% (40-45 years old). While it is clear that the younger women got better results, for the older subgroup, those using acupuncture had better results than the controls. This suggests that acupuncture intervention may be more effective in older women.
Study Two: Lower Rate of Pregnancy Loss from using Acupuncture
Back in 2008, David Youran did a similar study with regards to acupuncture and IVF, whereby the subjects were subdivided by age. Those under 35 years old showed the greatest benefit from acupuncture, a 63.3% chemical pregnancy rate to 43.2% in the non-acupuncture group. Combining all the age groups, the cycle parameters between the two groups (above 35 and under 35 years old) were equivalent, while pregnancy rate was higher. The good news was that the loss rate was lower for the acupuncture group: 6% vs. 30.4%.
The above studies are encouraging and suggest that acupuncture pre- and post-ET can be beneficial for older women looking to conceive. Acupuncture appears to help with age-related infertility. Acupuncture may also be useful to treat diminished ovarian reserve. All this could be related to how acupuncture helps with blood flow in the reproductive organs while reducing stress levels.
- Nick Dalton-Brewer, “Increasing IVF Success with Acupuncture”
- D.B. Youran, B.L. Bopp, R.M. Colver, L.M. Reuter, G.K. Adaniya, “Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer improves pregnancy rates”