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Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.

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

Department of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany

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 center.  Patient(s): 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).  Intervention(s): 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 Outcome Measure(s): Clinical pregnancy was defined as the presence of a fetal sac during an ultrasound examination 6 weeks after embryo transfer.  Result(s): 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.  Conclusion(s): Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

 

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Laurie Binder, Doctor of Acupuncture (RILB)

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