Acupuncture normalises cortisol and prolactin levels during IVF cyles in women
Sixty-seven reproductive-age infertile women undergoing IVF. Blood samples were obtained from all consenting new infertility patients and serum CORT and serum PRL were obtained prospectively. Patients were grouped as controls (IVF with no acupuncture) and treated (IVF with acupuncture) according to acupuncture protocols derived from randomized controlled trials.
Serum levels of CORT and PRL were measured and synchronized with medication stimulation days of the IVF cycle (e.g., day 2 of stimulation, day 3, etc). Reproductive outcomes were collected according to Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology protocols, and results were compared between controls and those patients treated with acupuncture.
CORT levels in Ac group were significantly higher on IVF medication days 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 13 compared with controls. PRL levels in the Ac group were significantly higher on IVF medication days 5, 6, 7, and 8 compared with controls.
In this study, there appears to be a beneficial regulation of CORT and PRL in the acupuncture group during the medication phase of the IVF treatment with a trend toward more normal fertile cycle dynamics.
Magarelli et al. (2009) Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment. Fertil Steril; 92:1870–9. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.067.