Pregnancy rates in patients who undergo ART with Acupuncture

Objective – To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment shortly before and after embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture.

Design – Prospective randomized study

Setting – Fertility Centre

Patients – After giving informed consent, 160 patients who were undergoing ART and who had good quality embryos were divided into the following two groups through random selection: embryo transfer with acupuncture (n = 80) and embryo transfer without acupuncture (n = 80).

Interventions – Acupuncture was performed in 80 patients 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. In the control group, embryos were transferred without any supportive therapy.

Main Outcomes – Clinical pregnancy was defined as the presence of a fetal sac during an ultrasound examination 6 weeks after embryo transfer.

Results – Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

Conclusions – Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

by Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. 2002

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