Acupuncture for frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

Reprod Biomed Online. 2010 Jun;20(6):814-21. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.02.024. Epub 2010 Mar 4.


The role of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate has not been evaluated in frozen-thawed embryo transfer (FET) cycles. This randomized double-blind study aimed to determine whether acupuncture performed on the day of FET improves clinical outcomes. On the day of FET, 226 patients were randomly allocated to either real or placebo acupuncture according to a computer-generated randomization list in sealed opaque envelopes. They received a session of real or placebo acupuncture for 25 min on site immediately after FET. The anxiety level and serum cortisol concentration were evaluated before and after real and placebo acupuncture. There were no significant differences in rates of overall pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, live birth and implantation in the placebo acupuncture group, when compared with the real acupuncture group. The anxiety level and serum cortisol concentration were similar for both groups. Only the placebo acupuncture group had significantly higher ongoing pregnancy (P=0.022) and implantation rates (P=0.038) than those who declined to join the study and received no acupuncture. In conclusion, comparable pregnancy and live birth rates of FET treatment were found in patients who had one session of real or placebo acupuncture after FET.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Embryo Transfer*
  • Freezing
  • Humans