The effect of acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer on the in vitro fertilization outcomes: An RCT


Background: Acupuncture is an adjunct therapy to support infertile women received in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment; however, the efficacy of this approach needs more evaluation.

Objective: This randomized clinical trial (RCT) study aimed to evaluate the influence of acupuncture on reproductive outcomes in women undergoing IVF treatment.

Materials and Methods: The study was carried out on 186 participants who had undergone IVF treatment in the Mother and Child Hospital between September 2015 and February 2016. Subjects were randomly divided into three groups: Acupuncture 25 min before embryo transfer (ET) (ACU1 group, n = 62), acupuncture 25 min before and after ET (ACU2 group, n = 62), and ET without acupuncture (control group, n = 62). Pregnancy rates (biochemical, clinical, and ongoing) were evaluated and compared between groups.

Results: There were significant differences between the ACU1 group and the control group regarding biochemical (p = 0.005), clinical (p = 0.006), and ongoing (p = 0.007) pregnancies. Also, our results showed that two-session acupuncture (ACU2) lead to a significant reduction in frequency of biochemical (p = 0.002), clinical (p = 0.003), and ongoing (p = 0.01) pregnancy rates when compared to the one-session acupuncture (ACU1). No significant difference was found between the ACU2 and control groups regarding the aforementioned terms (p = 0.50).

Conclusion: Acupuncture 25 min before ET significantly increased the IVF outcomes in women undergoing IVF compared with no acupuncture. Repeating acupuncture 25 min after ET did not improve the IVF outcome.

Key words: Acupuncture, Embryo transfer, In vitro fertilization, Pregnancy rate.

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