Acupuncture prevents and treats ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) during IVF treatment in women This study aimed to elucidate the effect of electroacupuncture treatment on preventing early ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and the potential mechanisms involved using an induced rat model. The ovarian response was examined by measuring ovary weight, vascular permeability, levels of inflammation (interleukin-6), tumour necrosis factor alpha, chemokine ligand 2 (also known as monocyte chemoactic protein 1), vascular endothelial growth factor and hormone concentrations (oestradiol, progesterone, testosterone and prolactin). Sprague-Dawley female rats underwent ovarian stimulation to induce OHSS. Hyperstimulated rats received consecutive electroacupuncture treatment from 3 days before the beginning of pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin treatment or the time point of pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin treatment respectively, and last until 3 days after HCG administration. Electroacupuncture treatment reduced ovary weight and vascular permeability in hyperstimulated rats. Electroacupuncture treatment also reduced the levels of serum steroid hormones (progesterone and testosterone), inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor alpha and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 and vascular endothelial growth factor in hyperstimulated rats. The results indicate that electroacupuncture can modulate endocrine hormone secretion and affect the secretion of inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor, and thus prevent the progress of OHSS. Electroacupuncture may provide a simple and effective method for the prevention and treatment of OHSS. Reference Chen et al. (2016) Electroacupuncture decreases the progression of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in a rat model. Reprod Biomed Online; 32(5):538-44. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2016.02.006.