I feel so fortunate to be the only acupuncturist from the Santa Cruz area who has done a preceptorship at RMFC, the fertility clinic with the largest database of acupuncture + IVF patients in the world. During this training I observed artificial reproductive medicine techniques (ART) such as IVF, IUI, and ICSI (a fertilization technique used to combine sperm and egg during IVF). It was an amazing view into the world of Western reproductive medicine. While I have been using Oriental medicine for several years to enhance fertility naturally and in combination with ART, like the great majority of acupuncturists, I have never actually SEEN these procedures.
Being a researcher as well as a clinician, my second objective during my week-long stay was to write a prospective research study on acupuncture and IVF. In retrospective study of over 800 patients the Cridennda/Magarelli Acupuncture Protocol (CMAP) has been shown to:
- Increase the number of pregnancy rates AND healthy babies
- Decrease the number of miscarriages
- Decrease the number of birth complications
- Normalize key stress/reproductive hormones
- This protocol helped all patients, but especially “poor responders” who are women over 38 whose partners have poor sperm quality
Now we want to know if the changes in stress hormones in the blood of these patients reflect changes in stress hormones in the follicular fluid (the fluid in which the egg grows in the ovary). This could lead us to a better understanding of how the CMAP improves IVF success rates.
I started providing the CMAP to my patients undergoing IVF because of the research behind this protocol. It has made such a difference in so many of my patient’s lives. In my clinical experience, combining the CMAP with IVF improves outcomes dramatically. This motivated me to add to the significant bank of data behind this protocol, so I went to Colorado to write a study.
Our study was submitted to the Internal Review Board and we are now waiting for their decision, cross your fingers!