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Acupuncture and Embryo Transfer

The effect of acupuncture in assisted reproduction techniques - Teshima D. R. K et al, Fertil Steril 2007 Vol 88, Suppl 1, pg S330 Fertility and Sterility

CONCLUSIONS: Although there was a higher pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group, this difference was not statistically significant, probably because of the small number of patients in both group. Acupuncture seems to be an important coadjuvant in the treatment of infertility with IVF or ICSI, and further research is needed to demonstrate its precisely effect.

Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer improves pregnancy rates - Youran D et al Fertil Steril 2008 Vol. 90, Suppl 1, pg S240 Fertilty and Sterility

CONCLUSIONS: Although other studies regarding acupuncture have been inconclusive, perhaps these positive results are related to two important factors. The treatments were performed on-site, eliminating the stress of travelling to another site before and after the embryo transfer. Also, the acupuncture treatment protocol did not follow the traditional Paulus protocol, thereby suggesting there is still more research to be done on how best to treat infertility issues with acupuncture

Use of Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer - Dalton-Brewer N et al, Hum Fert 2010 Vol 12 No 4 212 - 255 Human Fertility

Conclusions: Results for women aged 35–39 years and those over 40 years were markedly better than controls suggesting that acupuncture intervention of this type may be more effective in older women. No side effects or complications were experienced by women receiving acupuncture. Acupuncture is a safe, adjunct therapy in IVF and in other randomised clinical trials has been shown to significantly improve outcomes when used at the IVF centre before and after embryo transfer. Our preliminary data are encouraging and suggest that a trial involving older women may be effective.

Acupuncture lowers pregnancy rates when performed before and after embryo transfer

Objective - Acupuncture performed onsite before and after embryo transfer has been reported to improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcome in patients with good quality embryos. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate whether acupuncture before and after embryo transfer would alter pregnancy rates in patients undergoing IVF regardless of embryo quality if the treatment was performed offsite.

Design - Multi-center, prospective, randomized study.

Laser acupuncture before and after embryo transfer improves ART delivery rates

SUMMARY: This study reports an increase in implantation rates (IR) with the use of laser acupuncture, however there was no significant difference in 'ongoing pregnancy rates (OPR)' between needle acupuncture and laser acupuncture.

Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis - Cui Hong Zheng et al., Fertility & Sterility, Volume 97, Issue 3 , Pages 599-611, March 2012

Conclusion(s):
Acupuncture improves CPR and LBR among women undergoing IVF based on the results of studies that do not include the Streitberger control. The Streitberger control may not be an inactive control. More positive effects from using acupuncture in IVF can be expected if an appropriate control and more reasonable acupuncture programs are used.

Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. - Manheimer E et al. BMJ 2008;336 pg 545-549 British Medical Journal

The authors concluded, “The odds ratio of 1.65 suggests that acupuncture increased the odds of clinical pregnancy by 65% compared with the control groups… In absolute terms 10 patients would need to be treated with acupuncture to bring about one additional clinical pregnancy. These are clinically relevant benefits.”

Acupuncture and Assisted Conception - Cheong Y et al Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008 Issue4 Cochrane Review

Conclusions The data from this meta-analysis suggests that acupuncture performed on the day of ET does increase the clinical pregnancy rate of IVF treatment; however, this could be attributed to placebo effect and the small number of patients included. Further larger RCTs are necessary to confirm the results.

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