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.