More encouraging news for women and couples struggling with infertility! A study published in the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology links the benefits of acupuncture when combined with IVF treatment cycles. Pregnancy more than doubled in the acupuncture group vs the control group that did not receive acupuncture.
While the results of this study show the positive effects on the acupuncture group, a question is raised of whether the improved pregnancy rates are due to the course of treatment itself, or simply due to the act of paying more attention to the group who had acupuncture. “Acupuncture may only be effective because it involves a practitioner spending time with the patient, and listening to them, something that is difficult in much of the NHS.”
Initially, I found the comment about the acupuncture to be dismissive. After closer consideration, I realized the context of the statement to be true and a key observation about the limitations of IVF.
Up to half of every acupuncture session involves checking in, listening, answering questions and assessing the patient’s overall physical and emotional state. The intake, or talking, portion of treatment is supportive for the patient and helps the acupuncturist identify a specific protocol for that particular session.
A typical round of IVF involves regular ultrasounds and blood draws. Patient and doctor interaction is minimal. Being in the care of an acupuncturist during this time can often offset the stressors during an IVF cycle. As the study suggests, there may be other benefits as well: “Patients are looking for someone who can give them that time and listen to what’s going on in their lives, and that may have some therapeutic benefits.”
Both patients and doctors alike have found Collaborative Care to be an invaluable resource for their fertility patients. We offer treatment programs for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) cycles and for those trying to conceive naturally.
Read the complete article at the Daily Mail.