Research into IVF/ICSI

PAULUS STUDY - Pre and Post Embryo Transfer Overview:

Copyright ┬ę2002 American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Published by Elsevier Science Inc., Printed on acid-free paper in U.S.A.

Influence of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproductive therapy

Wolfgang E. Paulus, M.D.,[a] Mingmin Zhang, M.D.,[b] Erwin Strehler, M.D.,[a]
Imam El-Danasouri, Ph.D.,[a] and Karl Sterzik, M.D.[a]

Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany

Received June 5, 2001; revised and accepted October 16, 2001.
Reprint requests: Wolfgang E. Paulus, M.D., Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Frauenstr. 51, D-89073, Ulm, Germany (FAX: ++49-731-9665130; E-mail:
[a] Department of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut.
[b] Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China.
PII S0015-0282(01)03273-3


Objective: To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment shortly before and after embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture.
The primary point of the study was to determine whether acupuncture improves the clinical pregnancy rate after IVF or ICSI treatment. Student's t-test was used as a corrective against any possible imbalance between the two groups regarding the following variables: age of patient, number of previous cycles, number of transferred embryos, endometrial thickness, plasma estradiol on day of transfer, method of treatment (IVF or ICSI), and blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries (pulsatility index). Chi-square test was used to compare the two groups. All statistical analyses were carried out using the software package Statgraphics (Manugistics, Inc., Rockville, MD).


A total of 160 patients was recruited for the study. Patients who failed to conceive during the first treatment cycle were not reentered into the study. According to the randomization, 80 patients were treated with acupuncture, and 80 patients underwent the usual therapy without acupuncture.

As Table 1 shows, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with respect to the following covariants: age of patient, number of previous cycles, number of transferred embryos, endometrial thickness, plasma estradiol on day of transfer, or method of treatment (IVF or ICSI). Clinical indications for ART were the same for patients of both groups. The blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries (pulsatility index) did not differ between the groups before and after embryo transfer.

The analysis shows that the pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group is considerably higher than for the control group (42.5% vs 26.3%; P=.03).


ACUPUNCTURE AND FERTILITY - A review of the current evidence and effectiveness:



The following document is published by the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre (ARRC) in the UK and details controlled and uncontrolled trials and their outcomes. Click to review:


  Female Infertility - The evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture