Acupuncture IVF research

Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology

The clinical effects of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in sperm parameter and on therapeutic results in assisted reproductive technology were investigated. 22 patients failed in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with idiopathic male infertility were treated with acupuncture twice weekly for 8 weeks, followed by ICSI treatment again.

The sperm concentration, motility, morphology, fertilization rates and embryo quality were observed.

The research showed that:

  • Quick sperm motility after acupuncture (18.3% +/- 9.6%) was significantly improved as compared with that before treatment (11.0% +/- 7.5%, P < 0.01).
  • The normal sperm ratio was increased after acupuncture (21.1% +/- 10.4% vs 16.2% +/- 8.2%, P < 0.05).
  • The fertilization rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were obviously higher than that before treatment (40.2%, P < 0.01).
  • There was no significant difference in sperm concentration and general sperm motility between before and after acupuncture.
  • The embryo quality after acupuncture was improved, but the difference between them was not significant (P > 0.05).

The researchers concluded that acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilization rates in assisted reproductive technology.

Reference

Zhang M1, Huang G, Lu F, Paulus WE, Sterzik K. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2002;22(3):228-30.

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial

To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on reproductive outcome in patients treated with IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). One group of patients received acupuncture on the day of ET, another group on ET day and again 2 days later (i.e., closer to implantation day), and both groups were compared with a control group that did not receive acupuncture.

DESIGN: Prospective, randomized trial. SETTING: Private fertility center. PATIENT(S): During the study period all patients receiving IVF or ICSI treatment were offered participation in the study. On the day of oocyte retrieval, patients were randomly allocated (with sealed envelopes) to receive acupuncture on the day of ET (ACU 1 group, n = 95), on that day and again 2 days later (ACU 2 group, n = 91), or no acupuncture (control group, n = 87).

INTERVENTION(S): Acupuncture was performed immediately before and after ET (ACU 1 and 2 groups), with each session lasting 25 minutes; and one 25-minute session was performed 2 days later in the ACU 2 group.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy rates in the three groups. RESULT(S): Clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates were significantly higher in the ACU 1 group as compared with controls (37 of 95 [39%] vs. 21 of 87 [26%] and 34 of 95 [36%] vs. 19 of 87 [22%]). The clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates in the ACU 2 group (36% and 26%) were higher than in controls, but the difference did not reach statistical difference.

CONCLUSION(S):

Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture. Repeating acupuncture on ET day +2 provided no additional beneficial effect.

Reference

Westergaard LG1, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J.

Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1341-6. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy

One research showed acupuncture can improve pregancy rate after ART.

The research is to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment shortly before and after embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture.

After giving informed consent, 160 patients who were undergoing ART and who had good quality embryos were divided into the following two groups through random selection: embryo transfer with acupuncture (n = 80) and embryo transfer without acupuncture (n = 80).

Acupuncture was performed in 80 patients 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. In the control group, embryos were transferred without any supportive therapy.

The result showed that, the clinical pregnancies rate of each group are:

  • in the acupuncture group: 42.5%
  • In the control group:  26.3%

The research showed that acupuncture is a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

References

Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4

 

Acupuncture Shows Promise in Improving Rates of Pregnancy Following IVF

A review of seven clinical trials of acupuncture given with embryo transfer in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) suggests that acupuncture may improve rates of pregnancy.

An estimated 10 to 15 percent of couples experience reproductive difficulty and seek specialist fertility treatments, such as IVF. IVF, which involves retrieving a woman’s egg, fertilizing it in the laboratory, and then transferring the embryo back into the woman’s womb. It is an expensive, lengthy, and stressful process. Identifying a complementary approach that can improve success would be welcome to patients and providers.

According to Eric Manheimer of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine and colleagues who conducted the systematic review, acupuncture has been used in China for centuries to regulate the female reproductive system.

With this in mind, the reviewers analyzed results from seven clinical trials of acupuncture in women who underwent IVF to see if rates of pregnancy were improved with acupuncture. The studies encompassed data on over 1366 women and compared acupuncture, given within one day of embryo transfer, with sham acupuncture, or no additional treatment.

The reviewers found that acupuncture given as a complement to IVF increased the odds of achieving pregnancy.

According to the researchers, the results indicate that 10 women undergoing IVF would need to be treated with acupuncture to bring about one additional pregnancy.

The results, considered preliminary, point to a potential complementary treatment that may improve the success of IVF and the need to conduct additional clinical trials to confirm these findings.

References

Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, et al. Effect of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal. February 2008.