The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Acupuncture and pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization

    Acupuncture appears to be a common complementary option in fertility clinics.

    This study from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey concludes, “Acupuncture performed twice weekly during the follicular and luteal phase does not seem to improve pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET).”

    First, the details.

    • In 32 women, acupuncture was started biweekly from day 5 of the follicular phase through the luteal phase but not on the day of the transfer.
    • More information about the stages and phases of ovulation is here.
    • A control group received the same care without the acupuncture.

    And, the results.

    • There were no differences in pregnancy rates between the groups.

    The bottom line?
    A Chinese language study published earlier this year reported that acupuncture in rats promoted implantation and development of embryos.

    Also earlier this year, a review by researchers at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York suggested 4 possible mechanisms by which acupuncture could improve the outcome of IVF.

    • Modulating neurological and endocrine factors
    • Increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
    • Modulating cytokines (regulatory proteins)
    • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression

    These authors concluded that more high-quality studies were needed.

    There’s a need to develop techniques that will help increase pregnancy rates following IVF. The results of this study from Robert Wood Johnson suggest either that the effect of acupuncture is too subtle to be detected in this small group of women or that techniques in rats might not be transferred to humans easily.

    10/17/07 20:57 JR

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