Q. Karisa, can you give us an idea of what the German Protocol is?
A. The German Protocol is a series of two acupuncture treatments that are performed on the day of IVF transfer. The treatments are scheduled before and after the embryo transfer on the same day. The German Protocol is based off of a study that was performed in Germany in 2002. In the study of 160 participants, one group received IVF transfer only while the second group received IVF transfer with two acupuncture treatments (before and after transfer). The pregnancy results showed 42% in the acupuncture group compared with 26% in the control group.
Q. How might this particular type of acupuncture help increase a couple’s chances of conceiving?
A. In the German study, a select number of acupuncture points were used to help with the efficacy of pregnancy. Those same points from the study are used in the clinic. Certain points on the leg are believed to have a direct connection to the uterus and ovaries. In Chinese Medicine it is believed that those points help to bring blood flow locally to the uterus to help lessen contractions associated with the actual implantation of the embryo. Points are also selected to decrease stress and help relax the body and mind. In addition, points are selected on the ear to further help with relaxation, uterine blood flow and endocrine functioning.
Q. Is it helpful for all types of cycles in which an embryo transfer is taking place?
A. Yes, we believe it is helpful for all IVF cycles, including those with donor egg and/or donor sperm. Again, the focus is the same on the day of IVF transfer – to bring blood flow locally to the uterus, to help relax the body and mind, and to help with endocrine functioning.
At Pulling Down the Moon, Karisa and our other licensed acupuncturists strive to provide everyone with individualized care whatever their circumstances may be. The German Protocol is just one of the many ways acupuncture can help you on your journey. We encourage you to contact one of our centers to find out more about booking your pre and post transfer acupuncture treatment today!