Influence of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization
More details
Hide details
Department of Nursing, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland
INVICTA Fertility and Reproductive Centre, Gdańsk, Poland
Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Ewa Pastuszek   

Department of Nursing, Medical University of Gdańsk, Do Studzienki 38, 80-227 Gdańsk, Poland. Tel.: +48 504 316 658.
Submission date: 2013-05-20
Acceptance date: 2013-09-20
Online publication date: 2013-09-25
Publication date: 2020-04-08
Pol. Ann. Med. 2013;20(2):117–123
In recent years acupuncture has been used more and more often as an adjuvant infertility treatment. The first reports on the use of acupuncture in the infertility treatment were published in 1960. Many articles have been published about the effect of acupuncture on assisted reproductive techniques but the clinical significance of this technique is still controversial.

To evaluate the influence of acupuncture on the clinical pregnancy rate in infertility treatment by comparing a group of patients, who underwent acupuncture treatment during stimulation and/or before and after embryo transfer (ET) with a control group without acupuncture.

Material and methods:
Patients who were undergoing in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment were divided into three groups through no random selection: (1) acupuncture during stimulation and on the day of ET; (2) acupuncture only on the day of ET; (3) control group treated only standard protocol, without acupuncture. Acupuncture was performed on 148 patients during stimulation and before and after ET. In the second group 142 patients received acupuncture only on the day of ET. In the control group (142 patients), embryos were transferred without acupuncture. Clinical pregnancy was defined as the presence of a fetal sac during an ultrasound examination 6 – 8 weeks after ET.

Results and discussion:
Clinical pregnancies were documented in 66 patients (44.6%) in the first group, 55 patients (38.7%) in the second group and 50 (35.2%) in the control group.

There was no significant difference in the clinical pregnancy rate between groups; however, a small influence of acupuncture treatment effect cannot be excluded.

None declared.
Balk J, Catov J, Horn B, Gecsi K, Wakim A. The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010;16(3):154–157.
Birkeflet O, Laake P, Vollestad N. Traditional Chinese medicine patterns and recommended acupuncture points in infertile and fertile women. Acupunct Med. 2012;30(1):12–16. – 010089.
Chang R, Chung PH, Rosenwaks Z. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Fertil Steril. 2002;78(6):1149–1153.
Cheong YC, Ng EHY, Ledger WL. Acupuncture and assisted conception. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;4:CD006920.
Cho ZH, Chung SC, Jones JP, Park JB, Park HJ, Lee HJ, et al. New findings of the correlation between acupoints and corresponding brain cortices using functional MRI. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2006;103(27):10527.
Dieterle S, Ying G, Hatzmann W, Neuer A. Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Fertil Steril. 2006;85(5):1347–1351.
Domar AD, Meshay I, Kelliher J, Alper M, Powers RD. The impact of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization outcome. Fertil Steril. 2009;91(3):723–726.
El-Toukhy T, Sunkara SK, Khairy M, Dyer R, Khalaf Y, Coomarasamy A. A systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture in in vitro fertilisation. Bjog – Int J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008;115(10):1203–1213.
Ferraretti AP, Goossens V, Kupka M, Bhattacharya S, de Mouzon J, Castilla JA, Erb K, Korsak V, Nyboe Andersen A. European IVF- monitoring (EIM); Consortium, for The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Assisted reproductive technology in Europe, 2009: results generated from European registers by ESHRE. Hum Reprod. 2013;28(9):2318–2331.
Franconi G, Manni L, Aloe L, Mazzilli F, Dal Ben GG, Lenzi A, et al. Acupuncture in clinical and experimental reproductive medicine: a review. J Endocrinol Invest. 2011;34(4):307–311.
Garnuszewski Z. Akupunktura we współczesnej medycynie [Acupuncture in modern medicine]. AMBER; Warszawa; 1997 [in Polish].
Guo J, Wang L, Li D. Exploring the effects of Chinese medicine in improving uterine endometrial blood flow for increasing the successful rate of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao¼J Chin Integr Med. 2011;9(12):1301–1306 [in Chinese].
Huang D, Huang G, Lu F, Dieterle S, Neuer A, Greb R. Acupuncture for infertility: is it an effective therapy? Chin J Integr Med. 2011;17(5):386–395.
Isoyama D, Cordts EB, Bentes de Souza van Niewegen AM, Pereira de Carvalho WA, Matsumura ST, Barbosa CP. Effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a prospective randomised controlled study. Acupunct Med. 2012;30(2):85–88. – 010064.
Louis GMB, Lum KJ, Sundaram R, Chen Z, Kim S, Lynch CD, et al. Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation. Fertil Steril. 2011;95(7):2184–2189.
Madaschi C, Almeida Ferreira Braga DP, Savio Figueira RC, Iaconelli Jr. A, Borges Jr E. Effect of acupuncture on assisted reproduction treatment outcomes. Acupunct Med. 2010;28(4):180–184.
Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br Med J. 2008;336(7643):545–549.
Paulus WE, Zhang MM, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril. 2002;77(4):721–724.
Qu F, Zhou J, Ren RX. Effects of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18(5):429–439.
Ried K, Stuart K. Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2011;19(6):319–331.
Smith C, Coyle M, Norman RJ. Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer. Fertil Steril. 2006;85(5):1352–1358.
Stener-Victorin E, Wu X. Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in the reproductive system. Auton Neurosci-Basic Clin. 2010;15(1 – 2):46–51.
Zheng CH, Huang GY, Zhang MM, Wang W. Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. 2012;97(3):599–611.
Zheng CH, Zhang MM, Huang GY, Wang W. The role of acupuncture in assisted reproductive technology. Evid-Based Complement Altern Med. 2012.