Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Acupuncture to improve live birth rates for women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Author: Smith, C.
De Lacey, S.
Chapman, M.
Ratcliffe, J.
Norman, R.
Johnson, N.
Sacks, G.
Lyttleton, J.
Boothroyd, C.
Citation: Trials, 2012; 13(1):60-60
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1745-6215
Statement of
Caroline A. Smith, Sheryl de Lacey, Michael Chapman, Julie Ratcliffe, Robert J. Norman, Neil Johnson, Gavin Sacks, Jane Lyttleton and Clare Boothroyd
Abstract: BACKGROUND: IVF is a costly treatment option for women, their partners, and the public. Therefore new therapies that improve reproductive and health outcomes are highly desirable. There is a growing body of research evaluating the effect of acupuncture administered during IVF, and specifically on the day of embryo transfer (ET). Many trials are heterogeneous and results inconsistent. There remains insufficient evidence to determine if acupuncture can enhance live birth rates when used as an adjunct to IVF treatment. The study will determine the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture with improving the proportion of women undergoing IVF having live births. Other objectives include: determination of the cost effectiveness of IVF with acupuncture; and examination of the personal and social context of acupuncture in IVF patients, and examining the reasons why the acupuncture may or may not have worked. METHODS: We will conduct a randomized controlled trial of acupuncture compared to placebo acupuncture. Inclusion criteria include: women aged less than 43 years; undergoing a fresh IVF or ICSI cycle; and restricted to women with the potential for a lower live birth rate defined as two or more previous unsuccessful ETs; and unsuccessful clinical pregnancies of quality embryos deemed by the embryologist to have been suitable for freezing by standard criteria. Women will be randomized to acupuncture or placebo acupuncture. Treatment is administered on days 6 to 8 of the stimulated cycle and two treatments on the day of ET. A non-randomized cohort of women not using acupuncture will be recruited to the study. The primary study outcome is the proportion of women reporting a live birth. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of women reporting a clinical pregnancy miscarriage prior to 12 weeks, quality of life, and self-efficacy. The sample size of the study is 1,168 women, with the aim of detecting a 7% difference in live births between groups (P = 0.05, 80% power). DISCUSSION: There remains a need for further research to add significant new knowledge to defining the exact role of certain acupuncture protocols in the management of infertility requiring IVF from a clinical and cost-effectiveness perspective.
Keywords: Humans
Abortion, Spontaneous
Treatment Outcome
Combined Modality Therapy
Acupuncture Therapy
Embryo Transfer
Fertilization in Vitro
Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic
Self Efficacy
Research Design
Time Factors
Quality of Life
Health Care Costs
New Zealand
Live Birth
Rights: © 2012 Smith et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-60
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Paediatrics publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_73434.pdfPublished version229.33 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.