Background: Acupuncture has recently been used as a complementary technique in the management of infertility. It has physiological and psychological effects and may be considered an alternative for stress reduction in women undergoing infertility treatments.
Objective: To examine the hypothesis that acupuncture treatment may increase the pregnancy rate in patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.
Methods: Patients enrolled in the study were stratified according to age and randomised to either a control group (n=208) or acupuncture group, (n=208). The pregnancy, implantation and abortion rates of the two groups were compared.
Results: No influence of acupuncture treatment on clinical outcomes was seen; however, when cycles in which the causes of infertility were exclusively tubal-uterine or idiopathic were evaluated separately, a positive influence of acupuncture on pregnancy (OR=5.15, 95% CI 1.03 to 34.5; p=0.048) was noted. Moreover, trends toward an increase in implantation were seen when acupuncture was performed (regression coefficient: 0.645; p=0.092).
Conclusion: The results suggest that acupuncture treatment had no influence when performed immediately before and immediately after embryo transfer, on clinical outcomes overall. In a subgroup analysis, when the embryo was not affected by an ovarian or seminal influence, a benefit was noted.