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Acupuncture at embryo transfer can improve pregnancy rate

Paulus Report, Fertility and Sterility


A trial was carried out in Germany 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.

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 (80 patients), and embryo transfer without acupuncture (80 patients). Acupuncture was performed in 80 patients 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. In the control group, embryos were transferred without any supportive therapy. Clinical pregnancy was defined as the presence of a foetal sac during an ultrasound examination 6 weeks after embryo transfer.

Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 out of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

The trial concluded that acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

Wolfgang E Paulus, MD, Mingmin Zhang, MD, Erwin Strehler, MD, Imam El-Danasouri, PhD and Karl Sterzik MD; ‘Fertility and Sterility’, Vol.77, no.4, April 2002.

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