Objective: To evaluate the effect of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture stimulation (TEAS) on pregnancy outcomes in patients with recurrent implantation failure (RIF) undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Methods: A total of 122 women with RIF undergoing fresh embryo transfer cycle IVF were randomly allocated to a TEAS or mock TEAS (MTEAS) group. Gonadotrophin therapy using a long protocol was provided in both groups. TEAS consisted of 30 min of stimulation (9-25 mA, 2 Hz) at SP6, CV3, CV4 and Zigong from day 5 of the ovarian stimulation cycle once every other day until the day of embryo transfer. The patients in the control group received MTEAS. Implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates were compared.
Results: In the TEAS group, the implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate (24.3%, 32.8% and 27.9%, respectively) were significantly higher than in the MTEAS group (12.1%, 16.4% and 13.1%, respectively).
Conclusions: TEAS significantly improves the clinical outcomes of subsequent IVF cycles among women who have experienced RIF.
Trial registration number: ChiCTR-TRC-14004730.
Keywords: embryo transfer; in vitro fertilisation; ovarian stimulation; recurrent implantation failure; transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation.