Acupuncture/ pressurePregnancy

Effect of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in IVF

Infertility affects about 6.1 million people in the United States, about 10% of men and women of reproductive age. New and advanced technologies to help a woman become pregnant include in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Researchers at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago, Illinois, compared the influence of “true” versus “sham” acupuncture on pregnancy rates of women undergoing IVF.

First, the details.

  • 160 patients undergoing IVF with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • True or sham acupuncture 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer.
  • Participants completed a McGill Pain Questionnaire regarding their clinical symptoms during embryo transfer.
  • Clinical pregnancy rate and clinical symptoms during embryo transfer were recorded.

And, the results.

  • The overall clinical pregnancy rate was 51%.
    • There was no significant difference between the treatment groups.
  • 33% of the patients had ultrasound-documented singleton pregnancy, and 15% of patients had twin gestations, while one patient in the true acupuncture group had a triplet gestation.
  • There were significant differences in the subjective, affective, and total pain experience between treatments.
    • Those in the acupuncture treatment group described their acupuncture session as being more “tiring” and “fearful” and experienced more “achiness” compared with their sham counterparts.
  • No significant adverse effects were observed.

The bottom line?

There were no significant difference between pregnancy rates between treatment.

The authors concluded, “Patients undergoing true acupuncture had differing sensory esperiences compare with patients in the sham arm?

That’s putting a positive face on it.

No difference in pregnancy rate plus acupuncture was more tiring and fearful and achy.

4/10/11 21:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.