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Acupuncture improves clinical pregnancy rates of IVF

Patients (n 258) who had been scheduled for embryo transfer, signed informed consent and were randomly assigned to one of 5 study treatment regimens; needle acupuncture (AC; n 53), laser acupuncture (LZ AC; n 53), sham laser acupuncture (placebo) (LZ sham; n 52), relaxation (RX; n 50), or no intervention treatment (NT; n 50).

All treatments were administered 25 minutes before embryo transfer and immediately after embryo transfer. The patient and acupuncturist were unaware of when embryo transfer and the laser system was active which allowed for a double-blind control group for the laser acupuncture treatment.

Comparisons of various paramembryo transferers bembryo transferween groups were conducted by 2 tests and one-way ANOVAs. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to control for the potentially confounding effects of day of embryo transfer (day 3 vs.5) and number of embryos transferred which are known to relate to IVF outcome, to further analyze the impact of adjunct treatment regimens on implantation and pregnancy rates.

Probability of P 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. No differences in terms of cycle type, day of embryo transfer, or physician performing transfer were found bembryo transferween treatment groups. Neither day of transfer (p 0.079) or egg number (P 0.082) were significant independent predictors of implantation or conception when interactions bembryo transferween paramembryo transferers were considered in all 5 groups. All acupuncture treatments were well tolerated. Conception and implantation rates were highest with traditional needle acupuncture. IVF treatment outcomes did not difference bembryo transferween patients treated with laser or sham laser acupuncture.

This study did not have the statistical power to dembryo transferect treatment differences in pregnancy rates between embryo transfer were needle acupuncture and no treatment (i.e. at least 200 subjects are needed to dembryo transferect differences in CP rates of 54.7 and 44% with 80% power) which may be due to sample size, transfer of embryos of varying quality and variations in stimulation protocols. However, while not statistically significant, needle acupuncture produced a clinically significant effect (greater than 10% increase in clinical pregnancy rate) compared with relaxation or no treatment which warrants further investigation.


Benson, embryo transfer al. (2006) Impact of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization cycles: A prospective single blind randomized study. Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 86, Issue 3, S135.