Wednesday, May 12, 2010
IVF Patient Asks: What Supplements Can I Take To Increase Implantation Success?
Good day Dr Ramirez,
I was wondering what supplements and vitamins can I take to increase my chances of implantation in an IVF cycle?
Thank you! V. from the U.S.
There are no natural supplements that I know of that can help with implantation. I do add aspirin 81mg per day, Heparin and Medrol to my patients that have had implantation failures or failed IVF cycles because these meds have been shown to increase endometrial oxygenation and decreased miscarriage rates. Before you use these, however, it should be done in consultation with your IVF doctor so that you are not going against any protocols that he/she may be using.
In addition to supplements, you may want to look into doing acupuncture. While I cannot endorse the procedure on a purely scientific basis, some research has been done to see if acupuncture does have a beneficial effect with IVF patients. My patients are always given this option and a referral to local acupuncturists who specialize in infertility.
One in particular here in Monterey, Rikke Blessing (http://www.blessingacu.com/), has referenced some studies you may want to look at. This one was published in 2002 in Fertility & Sterility, the medical journal of reproductive medicine. "Researchers in Germany have looked at acupuncture to determine its efficacy with the use of traditional TCM combined with assisted reproductive techniques with embryo transfer (IVF). The acupoints chosen were used to relax the uterus. The main purpose of the study was to evaluate whether acupuncture accompanying embryo transfer increases clinical pregnancy rates. The results showed that the pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group was considerably higher than the control (42.5% acupuncture group versus 26.3% control group)".Paulus, W., Zhang, M., Strehler, E. Influence of Acupuncture on the Pregnancy Rate in Patients who Undergo Assisted Reproduction Therapy. Fertil Steril 2002;77:4;721-24
Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.