Acupuncture reduces stress during IVF treatment
Eight interviews were conducted, six women used acupuncture as an adjunct treatment during assisted fertility and two women used acupuncture to enhance their natural fertility. Interviews examined participant’s perspective of acupuncture, its relationship to fertility and the outcome of assisted reproductive technologies, and their experience of receiving acupuncture.
A narrative analysis was undertaken and analysed thematically. Participants all expressed confidence in the ability of acupuncture to contribute to their reproductive decision in a positive way. They described acupuncture as an adjunct to pregnancy attempts that was positive since it gave them a sense of control and a strategy for improving their chances.
Women were unable to locate acupuncture as a causative factor in a resulting pregnancy, however all women described acupuncture as instrumental in an increased sense of wellbeing, self-confidence, emotional balance and reduced anxiety. All experienced increased resilience. The positive effects of acupuncture emerged as being concerned with the treatment and the role of the acupuncturist.
Acupuncture is an effective and low intensity procedure for increasing women’s resilience in the repetitive and stress-inducing time of pregnancy attempts, with or without medical treatment. The instrumental role of the acupuncture therapist in increasing resilience is a finding that has not emerged in previous studies and has implications for patient management.
Smith et al. (2009) Understanding women’s views towards the use of acupuncture while undergoing IVF treatment. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 45 (2009) A10–A71.