Acupuncture improves pregnancy rates after IVF failure.
Brazilian researchers have found that acupuncture improves pregnancy rates after IVF failure. They claim that this is the first study of the use of acupuncture specifically when embryo implantation has failed.
Brazilian researchers carried out a prospective randomised controlled trial with 84 patients who had experienced at least two unsuccessful IVF attempts. The patients were randomised to either a no-treatment control group, a sham (pretend) acupuncture (needling at eight non-acupuncture points) group or a verum (real) acupuncture plus moxibustion (needling at 12 points, moxibustion at nine points) group. Acupuncture was performed on the first and seventh day of stimulation, on the day before egg collection and on the day after embryo transfer.
The clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was found to be significantly higher than that of either the control or sham groups (35.7% vs 7.1% vs 10.7%).
According to the researchers:
This study indicates that when embryo implantation has failed, use of acupuncture and moxibustion as adjuvant treatments, significantly improves pregnancy outcomes. In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion produced better therapeutic results than those obtained with IVF alone (control group) and placebo acupuncture (sham group). Thus, the results confirm and extend the findings obtained in other studies, although this is the first study of the use of acupuncture specifically when embryo implantation has failed.
(Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial. Acupunct Med. 2013 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]).