If you are looking forward to conceiving anytime soon via in vitro fertilisation (IVF), then undertaking an acupuncture therapy prior to the process may boost your chances of getting pregnant by six per cent, a new study has claimed.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of pain relieving treatment by inserting thin needles at specific points in the body.
The study found that acupuncture stimulates the sensory nerves under the skin and muscles of the body along with an increased blood flow to the uterus, which makes it more receptive to the embryo implanting when it is transferred during IVF.
"Acupuncture may not be entirely conventional, but there's a growing body of evidence to suggest that it can be effective when it comes to IVF," Hana Visnova, Medical Director at IVF Cube in Prague, Czech Republic, was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
Pervious studies have found acupuncture nearly doubles the chances of a woman conceiving with IVF.
In the new study, the team analysed data from 3,271 women and nearly 4,400 cycles.
Of the 4,087 cycles without acupuncture, 2,458 pregnancies were recorded, giving a pregnancy rate of 60 per cent.
Of the 301 cycles with acupuncture, there were 201 conceptions -- giving a higher pregnancy rate of 66 per cent.
Moreover, acupuncture has been proven to have a direct impact on a body's biology, said Tereza Rakin, acupuncturist at the IVF Cube.
"There's evidence that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus while producing neurotransmitters which help with pain relief," she said
"It can make the lining of the uterus more receptive to the embryo when it's transferred, therefore aiding implantation during IVF.
"And the therapy can also help to relax the cervix, preventing any painful cramps and again helping with the embryo transfer," Rakin noted.
However, the British Fertility Society say there's no evidence that having acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine treatment around the time of assisted conception increases the likelihood of subsequent pregnancy, the report said.