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A scientific rationale for the use of acupuncture during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment is lacking, but theoretically focuses mainly on its potential role in enhancement of uterine receptivity through increased blood flow and quiescence. A perceived reduction in anxiety and stress after acupuncture has often been cited as an additional justification. Five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have reported IVF outcome when acupuncture was performed at the time of oocyte retrieval. Four of these five studies were designed to assess the analgesic effect of acupuncture used at the time of oocyte retrieval compared to conventional analgesia and only one study reported pregnancy rate as a primary outcome. Studies involving acupuncture around the time of embryo transfer involved those that performed acupuncture only on the day of the embryo transfer and those that performed acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer and repeated again two to three days later.
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