© 2008-2011 AcupuncturEmporium.com
Electro-Acupuncture During IVF Embryo Transfer Improves Pregnancy Rates
by Erika Tabke
Published on Sep-28-2011 10:17 AM
IVF Connections have published the below article regarding Electro-Acupuncture during IVF!!
Women who undergo IVF (in vitro fertilization) in order to become pregnant may someday find that electro-acupuncture has become another clinical component of the embryo transfer process. One form of electro-acupuncture known as transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) is a new take on an old treatment for infertility. And researchers in China have found that electro-acupuncture as part of the IVF transfer process can significantly improve both pregnancy and live birth rates.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners have long treated infertile women using acupuncture. Now, Western medical doctors are using TEAS, which relies on some of the same principles as acupuncture, and this new intervention is showing promise in increasing pregnancy rates for women who are going through IVF. A recent study in Fertility and Sterility reveals that with the application of TEAS, live birth rates can double (from 21% to 42% in this particular study).
Researchers from China studied 309 women to look at the effects of the electro-acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes after both frozen and fresh IVF embryo transfers. The treatment used in the study, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS), was selected rather than traditional acupuncture because the researcher team felt that it would be easier to replicate on each test subject. The women selected for this study were:
- between the ages of 21 and 44,
- doing a fresh or frozen embryo transfer cycle, and
- had not had previous experience with acupuncture.
The study participants were randomly placed into three treatment groups: a mock (placebo) group, a single TEAS treatment group in which the treatment was done 30 minutes after embryo transfer, and a double TEAS treatment group in which treatment was done both 24 hours before the embryo transfer as well as 30 minutes after the transfer. After transfer, researchers measured the studies outcome based on both a 14 day qualitative beta hCG as well as observance of cardiac activity via ultrasound at 6 weeks post retrieval.
The results were impressive. The clinical pregnancy rate for the placebo treatment group was 29.3%, for the single treatment group was 42.7%, and for the double treatment group was 50%. The live birth rates for the groups was similarly distributed: 21.2% for the mock treatment group, 37.3% for the single treatment group and 42% for the double treatment group. Both the single treatment and the double treatment groups had statistically significantly higher rates of clinical pregnancy and live birth rates. Given such a large significant difference between treatment groups, this intervention which is inexpensive, non-invasive and easy to replicate merits further research.
Fertility and Sterility. Volume 96, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 912-916. Increase of success rate for women undergoing embryo transfer by transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study. Rong Zhang Ph.D., Xiao-Jun Feng B.S., Qun Guan B.S., Wei Cui M.S., Ying Zheng M.S., Wei Sun B.S., Ji-Sheng Han M.D.
Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Reproductive medical center, The second hospital affiliated to Shandong University of traditional Chinese medicine, Jinan, People's Republic of China.