Objective: To analyze the effects of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization patients with unexplained infertility.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the charts of a total of 302 cycles performed in 273 patients attending Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Centre from August 2013 to August 2016. During the study period, embryo transfer with acupuncture (Acupuncture group, 46 cases) and without acupuncture (Control group, 42 cases) were applied. Prior to embryo transfer, the following points were used in the acupuncture group: Neiguan (CX 6), Diji (SP 8), Taichong (Liv 3), Baihui (Gv 20), and Guilai (S 29). These sessions were carried out two times before and after embryo transfer in a single day. In addition, auricular acupuncture was also performed at ear points, including ear point 55 (Shenmen), ear point 58 (Zhigong), ear point 22 (Neifenmi) and ear point 34 (Naodian). The biochemical pregnancy rate and clinical pregnancy rate after transplantation were compared between two groups.
Results: The clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was higher than that in the control group [60.9% (28/46) vs. 33.3% (14/42), respectively, P<0.05]. Likewise, the live birth rate in the acupuncture group was also higher than that in the control group [71.7% (33/46) vs. 31.0% (12/42), P<0.01).
Conclusion: Administration of acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer dramatically improved fertility results in women who underwent in vitro fertilization/intra-cytoplasm sperm injection for reproduction.
Keywords: acupuncture; assisted reproduction; embryo transfer; pregnancy rate.