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Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) may help improve IVF outcomes, according to a study by Chinese and British researchers. Four hundred and eighty-one infertile patients with bilateral tubal blockage who were referred for IVF were randomised into four groups; a TEAS-2Hz group, a TEAS-100Hz group, a TEAS-2/100Hz group and a control group who received routine IVF treatment only. TEAS (which uses self-adhesive electrodes instead of needles to stimulate acupoints) was administered once for 30 minutes, 24 hours before transvaginal oocyte retrieval, and once two hours before embryo transfer (ET). Acupoints included bilateral Xuehai SP-10, Diji SP-8, Taichong LIV-3, Zusanli ST-36, Zigong M-CA-18, Guanyuan REN-4, Neiguan P-6 and Zhongwan REN-12. No significant differences were found between the control and TEAS groups for markers of embryo quality. However, the clinical pregnancy rate (CPR), implantation rate (IR) and live birth rate (LBR) were all significantly higher in the TEAS-2/100Hz compared with the other groups. Levels of neuropeptide Y (a key factor for follicular growth, ovulation and regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis) in the follicular fluids of TEAS-2/100Hz group were also found to be significantly higher than those of the other groups.

Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation Improves the Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization: A Prospective, Randomized and Controlled Study. Explore (NY). 2017 Sep - Oct;13(5):306-312.



A small Taiwanese study using TEAS treatment (with a different point protocol) in a group of 25 patients who had multiple failed IVF cycles showed that TEAS treatment significantly improved implantation rate and clinical pregnancy rates. (

Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) treatment improves pregnancy rate and implantation rate in patients with implantation failure. Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Oct;56(5):672-676.



Meanwhile a retrospective review performed on 212 women from Hong Kong who underwent either manual or placebo acupuncture before and after ET found no influence of acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes.

Pregnancy outcomes of women randomized to receive real versus placebo acupuncture on the day of fresh or frozen-thawed embryo transfer. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2017 Nov;218:119-122.


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