Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer

Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1352-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.12.015. Epub 2006 Apr 5.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of acupuncture on clinical pregnancy rates for women undergoing ET.

Design: Single-blind, randomized controlled trial using a noninvasive sham acupuncture control.

Setting: Repromed, The Reproductive Medicine Unit of The University of Adelaide.

Patient(s): Women undergoing IVF.

Intervention(s): Women were randomly allocated to acupuncture or noninvasive sham acupuncture with the placebo needle. All women received three sessions, the first undertaken on day 9 of stimulating injections, the second before ET, and the third immediately after ET.

Main outcome measure(s): The primary outcome was pregnancy. Secondary outcomes were implantation, ongoing pregnancy rate at 18 weeks, adverse events, and health status.

Result(s): Two hundred twenty-eight subjects were randomized. The pregnancy rate was 31% in the acupuncture group and 23% in the control group. For those subjects receiving acupuncture, the odds of achieving a pregnancy were 1.5 higher than for the control group, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. The ongoing pregnancy rate at 18 weeks was higher in the treatment group (28% vs. 18%), but the difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusion(s): There was no significant difference in the pregnancy rate between groups; however, a smaller treatment effect can not be excluded. Our results suggest that acupuncture was safe for women undergoing ET.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Embryo Transfer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Rate*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome