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Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 49–50 | Cite as

A Randomized Double Blind Comparison of Real and Placebo Acupuncture in IVF Treatment

  • Emily Wing Sze So
  • Ernest Hung Yu Ng
  • Yu Yeuk Wong
  • Estella Yee Lan Lau
  • William Shu Biu Yeung
  • Pak Chung Ho
  • D. Irnich
Journal Club

Abstract

Background

Acupuncture has been used during IVF treatment as it may improve outcome, however, there are concerns about the true efficacy of this approach. This randomized double blind study aimed to compare real acupuncture with placebo acupuncture in patients undergoing IVF treatment.

Methods

On the day of embryo transfer (ET), 370 patients were randomly allocated to either real or placebo acupuncture according to a computer-generated randomization list in sealed opaque envelopes. They received 25 min of real or placebo acupuncture before and after ET. The endometrial and subendometrial vascularity, serum cortisol concentration and the anxiety level were evaluated before and after real and placebo acupuncture.

Results

The overall pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the placebo acupuncture group than that in the real acupuncture group (55.1 versus 43.8 %, respectively, P = 0.038; Common odds ratio 1.578 95 % confidence interval 1.047–2.378). No significant differences were found in rates of ongoing pregnancy and live birth between the two groups. Reduction of endometrial and subendometrial vascularity, serum cortisol concentration and the anxiety level were observed following both real and placebo acupuncture, although there were no significant differences in the changes in all these indices between the two groups.

Conclusions

Placebo acupuncture was associated with a significantly higher overall pregnancy rate when compared with real acupuncture. Placebo acupuncture may not be inert.

Trial registered with HKClinical-Trials.com: number HKCTR-236.

Literatur

  1. 1.
    Ng E, Young W, Lau E et al. The role of acupuncture in the management of subfertility. Fertil Steril 2008; 90:1–13CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2008;336:554–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Wing Sze So
    • 1
  • Ernest Hung Yu Ng
    • 1
  • Yu Yeuk Wong
    • 1
  • Estella Yee Lan Lau
    • 1
  • William Shu Biu Yeung
    • 1
  • Pak Chung Ho
    • 1
  • D. Irnich
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyThe University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative RegionHong KongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Interdisziplinäre Schmerzambulanz, Klinik für AnaesthesiologieKlinikum der Universität München, InnenstadtMünchenDeutschland

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