Electro-acupuncture study could show improvements in IVF

28 September 2011

Women undergoing fertility treatment may have a better chance of conceiving with electro-acupuncture session as part of their treatment plan, a clinical trial suggests.

Over 37 per cent of women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in an attempt to become pregnant successfully gave birth to a child (or children) after incorporating electro-acupuncture into their plans. The study found that only 21 per cent of women who were given a "sham" version of the therapy conceived.

Furtermore, women who were given a session the day before the IVF were more likely to become pregnant, but the researchers warned that this could have been a statistical fluke, reports Reuters.

The study was led by Rong Zhand of the Peking University Health Science Center and reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility. It suggested another element of research in the large body of conflicting materials already available on the subject.

Dr Peter Lipson, an internal medicine specialist in southeastern Michigan, commented on the suggestions of conflicting reports. He said: "This indicates a regression to the mean - meaning that in aggregate, if some studies are positive, some negative, there is unlikely to be a significant effect."

IVF is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body and later implanted into the woman's womb.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Zhang, R, et al.,"Increase of success rate for women undergoing embryo transfer by transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study", Journal of Fertility and Sterility, August 22nd 2011.


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