Acupuncture Treatment For Infertile Women Undergoing Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection

Emmons S and Patton P, Medical Acupuncture 2000, 12 (2) 18 - 20 Medical Acupuncture
This pilot studied is included here because it is the first of many studies which followed in subsequent years examining the effects of acupuncture on IVF patients. In this case several women were referred for acupuncture as a last resort after very poor response to high doses of FSH. More eggs were collected and more pregnancies were recorded in the acupuncture cycles compared to the non acupuncture cycles, possibly due to increased blood supply to the ovaries.   



Background: Little information exists regarding the use of acupuncture in combination with allopathic treatment of infertility.

Objective: To describe the use of acupuncture to stimulate follicle development in women undergoing in vitro fertilization.

Design, Setting, and Patients: Prospective case series of 6 women receiving intracytoplasmic sperm injection and acupuncture along with agents for ovarian stimulation.

Main Outcome: Measures Number of follicles retrieved, conception, and pregnancy past the 1st trimester before and after acupuncture treatment.

Results: No pregnancies occurred in the non-acupuncture cycles. Three women produced more follicles with acupuncture treatment (mean, 11.3 vs 3.9 prior to acupuncture; P=.005). All 3 women conceived, but only 1 pregnancy lasted past the 1st trimester.

Conclusion: Acupuncture may be a useful adjunct to gonadotropin therapy to produce follicles in women undergoing in vitro fertilization.