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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Can Acupuncture help In Vitro Fertilization?

Many couples are resorting to IVF for pregnancy help. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the process of fertilizing the female egg with the male sperm outside the body to create an embryo that is then inserted into the womb. Researchers have been wondering if acupuncture can help this process, resulting in many studies and trials.

Recently, a study conducted by US and Dutch researchers (formerly published in the British Medical Journal) claimed that acupuncture does help IVF – with one out of every ten IVF cycles resulting in one extra pregnancy. The study concluded that acupuncture helps those in the US, but not as much in Europe.

The reasoning? Well, it appears that most of the studies were done in Chinese clinics, which have a lower pregnancy rate than the average European clinic. When the studies were compared to the European rate of pregnancy, no change was shown.

The study looked at more than 1,000 women from seven different trial studies, combining the results to get an overall picture of the effectiveness of acupuncture.

Even though the studies presented that those who combine acupuncture and IVF had a 65% higher chance of pregnancy, in the US many in the medical community are still not convinced.

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