Effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in embryo transfer and mechanisms: A randomized and controlled study

Zhang M et al,Chin Acup and Moxabustion 2003, Jan 23 (1): 3 - 5 Chinese Acupuncture and Moxabustion
210 IVF patients were randomly placed in groups that received real acupuncture or placebo or no treatment on the day of embryo transfer. The pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the group who received real acupuncture. Additionally this trial showed that the women who received real acupuncture had fewer uterine contractions after the transfer.



Objective: To observe the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy such as in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmatic spermatozoen injection (ICSI), and mechanisms.

Methods: 210 cases undergoing IVF or ICSI were divided randomly into three groups: acupuncture treatment group, placebo group and control group. The acupuncture treatment group and the placebo group were treated respectively with body acupuncture and placebo acupuncture before and after embryo transfer, and in the control group embryos were transferred without any supportive therapy. Contraction frequency of the uterine junctional zone and the pregnancy rate were observed.

Results: The contraction frequency before embryo transfer was not significantly different among the three groups, but after embryo transfer in the acupuncture treatment group was lower than that in the placebo group and the control group, respectively. The pregnancy rate was 44.3% (31/70) in the acupuncture treatment group, and 27.1% (19/70) in the placebo group and 24.3% (17/70) in the control group. The pregnancy rate in the acupuncture treatment group was significantly higher than that in the placebo acupuncture group and the control group (P0.05).

Conclusion: Acupuncture is a powerful tool for improving pregnancy rate after assisted reproduction therapy.