A randomised prospective controlled clinical study examined the effect of luteal-phase acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilisation/intracytoplasmic sperm injection. 116 patients receiving acupuncture according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine were compared with a group of 109 receiving placebo acupuncture. In both groups, acupuncture was carried out immediately after embryo transfer. The TCM acupuncture group received needling at Guanyuan REN-4, Qihai REN-6, Guilai ST-29, Neiguan P-6, Diji SP-8 and Xuehai SP-10 with ear seeds placed at auricular points Shenmen, Zigong, Neifenmi and Pizhixia (left in place for two days and pressed twice daily for 10 minutes). The placebo group received acupuncture designed not to influence fertility (Sidu SJ-9, Xiaoluo SJ-12, Fengshi GB-31, Zhongdu GB-32, Yanglingquan GB-34; ear seeds at Shangzhi, Fengsi, Shisheng, Jian). Three days after embryo transfer, all patients received a second acupuncture treatment. For the placebo group, needling was the same as previously, while the TCM acupuncture group were needled at Hegu L.I.-4, Sanyinjiao SP-6, Zusanli ST-36, Taixi KID-3 and Taichong LIV-3. Both groups had ear seeds placed on the other ear at the same points as previously (again pressed twice daily for two days). Clinical pregnancy rate and ongoing pregnancy rate (33.6% and 28.4% in the TCM acupuncture group were significantly higher than in the placebo acupuncture group (15.6% and 13.8%).

(Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1347-51)

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