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Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer
  1. Elisabet Stener-Victorin, associate professor1,
  2. Peter Humaidan, clinical director2
  1. 1
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology Sahlgrenska Academy, Goteborg University, Sweden
  2. 2
    The Fertility Clinic Sygehus Viborg (Skive), Denmark
  1. elisabet.stener-victorin{at}neuro.gu.se

Abstract

During the last five years the use of acupuncture in female infertility as an adjuvant to conventional treatment in assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased in popularity.

The present paper briefly discusses clinical and experimental data on the effect of acupuncture on uterine and ovarian blood flow, as an analgesic method during ART, and on endocrine and metabolic disturbances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Further it gives a summary of recent studies evaluating the effect of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer on pregnancy outcome. Of the four published RCTs, three reveal significantly higher pregnancy rates in the acupuncture groups compared with the control groups. But the use of different study protocols makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. It seems, however, that acupuncture has a positive effect and no adverse effects on pregnancy outcome.

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