Acupuncture and IVF

Acupuncture blocks cold stress-induced increases in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat.
Eshkevari L, Permaul E, Mulroney SE. 2013. Acupuncture blocks cold stress-induced increases in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat. J Endocrinology, 15;217(1):95-104. CONCLUSIONS: “electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway”
Published on Mar 15, 2013

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial.
Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1341-6. Epub 2006 Apr 5. Westergaard LG, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J. – Fertility Clinic Trianglen, Hellerup, Denmark. CONCLUSION(S): Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture. Repeating acupuncture on ET day +2 provided no additional beneficial effect.
Published on Apr 5, 2006

Adverse effect of superoxide-induced mitochondrial damage in granulosa cells on follicular development in mouse ovaries
Hoque SAM, Umehara T, Kawai T, Shimada M. 2021. Adverse effect of superoxide-induced mitochondrial damage in granulosa cells on follicular development in mouse ovaries. Free Radic Biol Med. 163:344-355.
Published on Feb 1, 2021

Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment.
Magarelli PC, Cridennda DK, Cohen M., Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1870-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.067. Epub 2008 Dec 31. CONCLUSION(S): In this study, there appears to be a beneficial regulation of CORT and PRL in the Ac group during the medication phase of the IVF treatment with a trend toward more normal fertile cycle dynamics.
Published on Dec 31, 2008

Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on endometrial implants in an experimental rat model
Pınar N, Soylu Karapınar O, Özcan O, Özgür T, Bayraktar S. 2017. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on endometrial implants in an experimental rat model. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 31(5):506-512.
Published on Oct 1, 2017

Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Bouter LM. BMJ. 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39471.430451.BE. Epub 2008 Feb 7. CONCLUSIONS: Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.
Published on Feb 7, 2008

Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial.
di Villahermosa DI, Dos Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP. Acupuncture in Medicine 2013 Jun;31(2):157-61. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010269. Epub 2013 Mar 19. Source: Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Clinic for Human Reproduction, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil. RESULTS: The clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7% vs 7.1% vs 10.7%; p=0.0169). CONCLUSIONS: In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.
Published on Jul 31, 2013

Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.
Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4. Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. – Department of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany. CONCLUSION(S): Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.
Published on Apr 1, 2002

Oral melatonin supplementation improves oocyte and embryo quality in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer
Nishihara T, Hashimoto S, Ito K, Nakaoka Y, Matsumoto K, Hosoi Y, Morimoto Y. 2014. Oral melatonin supplementation improves oocyte and embryo quality in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer. Gynecol Endocrinol. 30(5):359-62.
Published on May 1, 2014

Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.
Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M., Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7. Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fertility Centre Scandinavia, University of Gothenburg, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. CONCLUSION: Compared to the mean baseline PI (pulsatility index), the mean PI was significantly reduced both shortly after the eighth EA treatment (P < 0.0001) and 10-14 days after the EA period (P < 0.0001).
Published on Jun 11, 1996

The association between coenzyme Q10 concentrations in follicular fluid with embryo morphokinetics and pregnancy rate in assisted reproductive techniques
Akarsu S, Gode F, Isik AZ, Dikmen ZG, Tekindal MA. 2017. The association between coenzyme Q10 concentrations in follicular fluid with embryo morphokinetics and pregnancy rate in assisted reproductive techniques. J Assist Reprod Genet. 34(5):599-605.
Published on May 14, 2017

The effect of acupuncture on psychosocial outcomes for women experiencing infertility: a pilot randomized controlled trial
Smith CA, et al. 2011. The effect of acupuncture on psychosocial outcomes for women experiencing infertility: a pilot randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 17(10):923-30. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture may be a useful intervention to assist with the reduction of infertility-related stress. Further research is justified.
Published on Oct 17, 2011

The impact of two doses of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters and antioxidant status in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia
Alahmar AT. 2019. The impact of two doses of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters and antioxidant status in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. Clin Exp Reprod Med. 46(3):112-118.
Published on Sep 15, 2019

The Limitation of Randomized Control Trials on the Influence of Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilization: A Literature Review
Wang, Y., Shen, X., Hu, Y. F., & Sodders, R. (2022). The Limitation of Randomized Control Trials on the Influence of Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilization: A Literature Review. Medical acupuncture, 34(1), 24–33. Objective: Acupuncture has gained popularity among patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, the beneficial effect of acupuncture for improving IVF success is controversial and debatable. Given that different meta-analyses have come to different conclusions, it is crucial to explore the clinical trials in more detail. This literature review examined the limitation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the influence of acupuncture in IVF. Methods: This review began with 844 studies. The inclusion criteria were studies that had acupuncture treatments in conjunction with IVF. After exclusion criteria were applied, the final number of peer-reviewed studies was 10. Results: There were substantial variations in the results of the 10 RCTs. This seemed to suggest that acupuncture was not effective in conjunction with IVF treatment. However, limitations emerged that might explain these variations in results. Such limitations include timing of acupuncture and point selections; acupuncture not performed by experienced licensed acupuncturists; lack of Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnoses and fixed protocols causing biases; acupuncture dosages; and using sham acupuncture as a control. Conclusions: There is an urgent need for further research into the effectiveness of acupuncture for improving IVF outcomes. This review provides insight into this complex and controversial topic, revealing limitations of the clinical trials that led to different conclusions. If future research can examine acupuncture treatment carefully to resemble real-world clinical practice-having appropriate controls and individualized acupuncture treatments-increasingly positive effects from acupuncture in IVF may be expected.
Published on Feb 1, 2022

Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer.
Stener-Victorin E, Humaidan P., Acupunct Med. 2006 Dec;24(4):157-63. Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiolopgy, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden. elisabet.stener-victorin@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.
Published on Dec 24, 2006

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