Increasing IVF Success with Pre-Transfer Therapy
Clear Passage®️ is a world leader with over two decades of experience improving female fertility including treatment prior to IVF embryo transfer. As early as 2004, a study in WebMD’s Medscape General Medicine indicated that our manual therapy increased IVF results. Some of our highest pregnancy rates were in women between 35 and 45 years of age, who came to us after several failed IVF cycles.
In 2015, we collected data on these success rates and published results in a 10-year study of 1392 infertile women. (Rice et al., 2015a) The results of that study were eye-openers. We increased IVF success rates to an average of 56% – with very encouraging results in older women. For example, women over 42 were nearly five times as likely to become pregnant with IVF if they received Clear Passage®️ therapy before embryo transfer (p<.0001). You can read exact statistics grouped by age below, or at our Success Rates page.
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Pre-IVF Therapy Overview
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a remarkable and complex process in which sperm and egg are united outside the body and transferred into a woman’s reproductive tract. While success rates of IVF have steadily increased since the first successful transfer in 1978, IVF success rates remain around 37% per transfer, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (CDC et al., 2012)
Our earliest Infertility studies with Pre-IVF data included 25 women. Determined to fulfill their dreams of motherhood, they had undergone a total of 78 assisted pregnancy interventions prior to arriving at our door. These included 54 IUIs (Intra-Uterine Inseminations) and 24 IVFs (InVitro Fertilizations).] Those 78 attempts yielded just 3 pregnancies, 2 of which ended in miscarriage. Thus, the patients in this study had only one birth in 78 assisted attempts – before they attended Clear Passage®️.
At the time, we did not know the optimum treatment time. 92% (23/25) received a minimum of 10 hours of therapy. The Mean number of treatment hours was 17.1. (We now require a 20-hour protocol for the best results.)
After therapy, 76% (19/25) of the patients had clinical pregnancies after IVF. By the time the study closed, 60% (15/25) of the women had conceived, or were still pregnant. (Wurn et al., 2004a)
In the larger, landmark 10-year study of over 1,000 infertile women treated at Clear Passage®️ for various types of infertility, the overall IVF pregnancy rate was 56.16% (82/146) (Rice et al., 2015a) for women who had Clear Passage®️ therapy before IVF transfer. This was 1.5 times higher than the 37.3% pregnancy rate extrapolated as the U.S. national average during our 10-year study, per the the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Clear Passage®️ Treatment
Our manual therapy appears to assist IVF transfer in several ways — some documented, some assumed.
- improved hormone levels
- decreased adhesions in the reproductive tract
- improved cervical mobility and ease of transfer
- Improved implantation by decreasing uterine spasm
- increased blood flow to the ovaries, uterus and possibly pituitary
- improved implantation by decreasing microadhesions on and within the uterine wall
As we go through life, all people develop adhesions (internal scars) as our bodies heal from life events. The female reproductive tract is subject to infection, inflammation, trauma and surgery. When bacteria or items enter the vagina from the outside world, the delicate internal tissues can become subjected to microtraumas. These generate adhesions as the body begins to heal. Many women have a contributing history of infection (bladder, yeast, vaginal, etc.) or more serious trauma (falls onto buttock, accidents, abuse). The body lays down collagen fibers – the building blocks of adhesions, as the first step in healing from any of these events. After the body has healed, the collagen fibers remain, binding tissues that should move freely. Clear Passage®️ therapists are experts at deforming and detaching these fibers, returning the body to an earlier state of mobility and function. In doing this, it returns fertility to many women.
In summary, our site-specific hands-on therapy appears to decrease spasm and mechanical factors (such as adhesions) at the uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes. Statistical data shows that the therapy increases implantation rates and improves FSH levels. Two separate scientific studies showed clinical pregnancy rates significantly higher than the U.S. pregnancy rates for IVF, for women who received Clear Passage®️ therapy before embryo transfer. Please see our success rates page for the most current data.
Surgeries may add to the problem since adhesions form as the first step in the healing process, forming at the site of the procedureーoften spreading into nearby structures. Adhesions can form on the outer or inner walls of the uterus, creating a less hospitable surface for implantation. Adhesions can also cause spasm or inflammation in the uterus, further complicating or preventing pregnancy.
Adhesions from endometriosis, inflammation, infection or surgery can form on or within any of the reproductive structures. When they do, they act like glue, decreasing that organ’s ability to function properly.
Adhesions deep within the cervix can cause tightness at the opening of the uterus. These tiny adhesions can constrict the cervix, making sperm transfer (whether through intercourse, IUI or IVF) more difficult. Any adhesive pull of the cervix from its normal midline position can cause spasm into the uterus, decreasing the chance for good uterine implantation and a successful pregnancy. Cervical adhesions can create a pull on the uterus with every step a woman takes, causing further spasm and uterine adhesions.
Some women have been diagnosed by their physician with cervical stenosis (narrowing) or fibrosis (stiffness) evidenced by palpation and leading to difficult IVF transfers. We have found that these conditions are caused by tiny adhesions attaching to muscle cells, within the body of the cervix. When we treat the area, we find that positive changes are generally palpable to us and to the patient’s physician. IVF transfer then becomes easier and implantation rates appear to increase significantly, per published studies.
Does Your History Include Any of These?
Adhesions form whenever and wherever the body heals. Because they are composed of microscopic collagen fibers, and often can’t be seen by diagnostic tests (MRI, CT, X-ray), these tiny but powerful fibers are often undetectable. Once formed, adhesions can act like straitjackets, binding structures that need to move freely, decreasing your reproductive tract’s ability to function properly.
If your medical history consists of any of the following, you may benefit from our therapy:
- Menstrual pain
- Intercourse pain
- Cervical Stenosis
- Hip pain or stiffness
- Pelvic or low back pain
- Physical or sexual abuse
Therapy consists of a 20-hour program which can be completed in as little as five days. For best results, you should receive therapy within 15 months before your IVF transfer. We can treat you up to two weeks before you begin ovarian stimulation (the start of your follicle stimulating medication) or up to two weeks before transfer for an unstimulated cycle.
Considering the remarkable advantage our study participants had over IVF patients who did not receive therapy first, you may want to postpone a planned IVF cycle for a month or two to attend therapy first. Since the positive effects of therapy on IVF transfer appear to last for over a year, you do not need to receive IVF transfer immediately after therapy. Published data indicates you should attend our therapy between two weeks and 15 months prior to your IVF transfer. (Wurn et al., 2004a)
How to Increase Your Chances of IVF Success
- Quit smoking
- Reduce your stress
- Optimize sperm health
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Look into taking supplements
- Focus on persistence and patience
- Ensure you have adequate levels of vitamin D
- Partner with an excellent doctor and embryology laboratory