Electrical Acupoint Stimulation Boosts Pregnancy Rates in IVF Patients.
Transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation (TEAS) can significantly improve clinical pregnancy rates in women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) embryo transfer (ET), especially in women of older age.
A total of 739 participants were randomised to TEAS or control groups by a Chinese research team. For women in the TEAS group, electrical stimulation (2 Hz, 10-20 mA) was applied via skin pads for 30 minutes, 24 hours before ET and 30 minutes after ET.
The acupoints used before ET were bilateral Diji SP-8, Guilai ST-29, Zigong M-CA-18, and Xuehai SP-10.
The acupoints selected after ET were bilateral Zusanli ST-36, Taixi KID-3, Shenyu BL-23, Guanyuan REN-4, and Zhongwan DU-12.
The clinical pregnancy rate was higher in the TEAS group than in the controls (55.1% versus. 46.7%), with no significant differences in embryo implantation, biochemical pregnancy, or live birth rates between the two groups. In women over 35 however, significant differences in favour of TEAS were found for clinical pregnancy rates (48.9 % versus 23.7 %), embryo implantation rates (30.8 % versus 13.9 %) and live birth rates (34.0 % versus 19.7 %).
An additional mechanistic study was performed in a group of 120 women preparing to receive frozen embryo transplantation. Participants were randomly assigned to either control or TEAS groups. Patients in the TEAS group were treated on days 16 and 17 of the menstrual cycle using the same protocol as in the efficacy study. On the theoretical embryo implantation day, those in the TEAS group demonstrated better markers of endometrial receptivity compared with those in the control group.
Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation improves endometrial receptivity resulting in improved IVF-ET pregnancy outcomes in older women: a multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2022 Aug 22;20(1):127.