Acupuncture Increases Fertility Treatment Success

Acupuncture Increases Fertility Treatment Success

Acupuncture improves in vitro fertilization embryo transfer (IVF-ET) success rates. Qingdao University researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial and confirmed that acupuncture reduces failed embryo implantation rates.  Findings include increases in good-quality embryo rates, endometrial receptivity, improvements in serological sex hormone levels, and the addition of acupuncture to standard ovulation stimulation drug therapy reduced the adverse effect rate of the drug therapy. [1]

In this study, transvaginal ultrasound was utilized to examine endometrial quality, for predicting endometrial receptivity.[2] The Qingdao University researchers confirm that acupuncture increases the rate of positive patterns of endometrial health.

Acupuncture increased good quality embryo rates and regulated pregnancy-related hormones. The rate of good quality embryos in the acupuncture treatment group was significantly higher than in the drug therapy control group.

The researchers cite independent scientific research demonstrating that failed embryo implantation plays an important role in perpetuating infertility. For example, Norwitz et al. note that “Of the pregnancies that are lost, 75 percent represent a failure of implantation.” They determine that “Failed implantation is also a major limiting factor in assisted reproduction.” They explain, “Though high-quality embryos can often be transferred into the uterus, only a few embryos can successfully be implanted during the IVF-ET cycle.” [7] The results indicate that acupuncture combined with the long drug therapy into an integrated treatment protocol is more effective than long drug therapy. Chen et al. conclude that acupuncture increases the success rate of IVF-ET.

This study was conducted to determine whether acupuncture can improve endometrial receptivity and benefit IVF-ET outcomes.

The researchers note, “A better understanding of acupuncture mechanisms responsible for implantation may improve the ability to treat disorders related to these processes, including infertility.” They learned that the adverse effect rate was significantly reeduced in the acupuncture group versus the drug group. Given the sophistication of the multi-drug fertility protocol, it is not surprising that the need for monitoring and treating adverse effects is of concern. The data indicates that acupuncture benefits positive patient outcomes rates while simultaneously reducing adverse effects, indicating that acupuncture increases the safety and efficacy of long hormonal drug protocol fertility treatments.


[1] Chen Q, Hao CF. Impacts on pregnancy outcome treated with acupuncture and moxibustion in IVF-ET patients [J]. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 2015,35(04):313-317.
[2] Gonen Y, Casper RF. Prediction of implantation by the sonographic appearance of the endometrium during controlled ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF) [J]. J In Vitro Ferti Embryo Transf, 1990, 7 (3): 146-152.
[3] Lina Wang, Jie Qiao, Rong Li, Xiumei Zhen, Zhaohui Liu. Role of endometrial blood flow assessment with color Doppler energy in predicting pregnancy outcome of IVF-ET cycles [J]. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2010; 8: 122.
[4] Wei M, Zhang XM, Gu FL, Lv F, Ji YR, Liu KF, She H, Hu R. The impact of LH, E2, and P level of HCG administration day on outcomes of in vitro fertilization in controlled ovarian hyperstimulation [J]. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2015;42(3):361-6.
[5] Grow D, Kawwass JF, Kulkarni AD, et al. GnRH agonist and GnRH antagonist protocols: comparison of outcomes among good-prognosis patients using national surveillance data. Reprod Biomed Online 2014; 29:299-304.
[6] Borm G, Mannaerts B. Treatment with the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone antagonist ganirelix in women undergoing ovarian stimulation with recombinant follicle stimulating hormone is effective, safe and convenient: results of a controlled, randomized, multicenter trial. The European Orgalutran Study Group[J]. Hum Reprod, 2000, 15(7):1490-1498.
[7] Norwitz ER, Schust DJ, Fisher SJ. Implantation and the survival of early pregnancy [J]. N Engl J Med, 2001, 345(19): 1400-1408.

Source: HealthCMi