Panel – Is There Still a Role for IVF Acupuncture on Embryo Transfer Day?

The original research on acupuncture for IVF transfer days were studies focussing on the day 3 transfers (2002).  Since the Paulus study, there have been numerous studies and meta analysis relating to the use of acupuncture on transfer day and the effect on pregnancy and live birth rates.  ART has advanced since 2002 and now most transfers are on day 5 rather than day 3.  Should acupuncturists use the Paulus protocol (day 3 approach) for day 5 transfers?   Also, recent publications suggest acupuncture is dosage dependent and suggest offering acupuncture during the preconception and stimulation phase of IVF increases success rates compared to acupuncture only on transfer day which has no impact on pregnancy rates.

Should we use an established acupuncture protocol that is evidence-based for this specific date (transfer day) or is it acceptable to treat the individual and their pattern?  Does the timing (onsite vs offsite) of acupuncture treatments and the day of transfer (day 3 vs. day 5) contribute to increasing IVF pregnancy rates?

This Panel will discuss best practices for offering acupuncture on embryo transfer day for day 3 and day 5, and the best practices for fresh cycles vs. frozen and donor cycles. IFS Lecture from June 2, 2015.

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Brandon Horn
Brandon Horn Author

Dr. Brandon Horn, PhD, JD, LAc, FABORM is a lecturer, researcher and clinician. He received his bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from the Ohio State University, his master’s degree in oriental medicine from Samra University and his PhD in classical Chinese medicine from the American University of Complementary Medicine, where he currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer. For CEU/PDAs by this speaker click here –

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