Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer: a randomized controlled trial of 635 patients

Reprod Biomed Online. 2010 Sep;21(3):366-72. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.03.029. Epub 2010 Apr 7.


This prospective, randomized, controlled and double-blinded trial studied whether acupuncture in relation to embryo transfer could increase the ongoing pregnancy rates and live birth rates in women undergoing assisted reproductive therapy. A total of 635 patients undergoing IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were included. In 314 patients, embryo transfer was accompanied by acupuncture according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. In the control group, 321 patients received placebo acupuncture using a validated placebo needle. In the acupuncture group and the placebo group, the ongoing pregnancy rates were 27% (95% CI 22-32) and 32% (95% CI 27-37), respectively. Live birth rates were 25% (95% CI 20-30) in the acupuncture group and 30% (95% CI 25-30) in the placebo group. The differences were not statistically significant. These results suggest that acupuncture administered in relation to embryo transfer has no effect on the outcome of IVF and ICSI.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Embryo Transfer / methods*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic