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J Reprod Med. 2014 May-Jun;59(5-6):313-20.

Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer: a randomized controlled trial.



To compare the clinical pregnancy rates in women who underwent fresh embryo transfer (ET) with and without one acupuncture session before and after the transfer using a modified Paulus protocol.


The prospective, physician-blinded study randomized 113 women to either no intervention (n = 56) or acupuncture performed off-site (n = 57). Secondary outcomes were positive pregnancy test and live birth rates. Intent-to-treat analysis and per protocol analysis were performed.


No difference in age and in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) parameters were detected. Compared to the control group, the treatment group had a lower pregnancy rate (43.6% vs. 64.8%, p = 0.045). More women in the control group had live births than did those in the acupuncture group (56.0% vs. 36.0%, respectively, p = 0.033). Generalized mixed models revealed that patients who received acupuncture had lower odds of clinical pregnancy than those who did not undergo acupuncture treatment (OR = 0.42, 95% CI 0.19-0.93).


Our study found that acupuncture performed off-site on the day of ET was detrimental to the success of the transfer. More research is needed with a greater number of subjects to elucidate the role of acupuncture before and after ET, ideal treatment frequency, and to further explore the role of individualized acupuncture treatment on IVF-ET pregnancy rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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