ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Add your Article

Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies

THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to real acupuncture, placebo acupuncture was associated with significantly higher overall pregnancy rates among women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), says a University of Hong Kong study.

In real acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into particular points on the body. In placebo acupuncture, blunt needles that look identical to real acupuncture needles retract into the handle of the needle when pressed on the skin, but still give the sensation and appearance of entering the skin.

The researchers gave real or placebo acupuncture to 370 women on the day of embryo transfer and found that 55.1 percent of those who received placebo acupuncture became pregnant, compared to 43.8 percent of those who received real acupuncture. The findings were published in the Nov. 13 issue of Human Reproduction.

"We found a significantly higher overall pregnancy rate following placebo acupuncture when compared with that of real acupuncture," study author Dr. Ernest Hung Yu Ng, an associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, said in a European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology news release. "In addition, there was a trend towards higher rates of clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, live birth and embryo implantation in the placebo acupuncture group, although the differences did not reach statistical significance."

The results suggest that placebo acupuncture may not act as an inert control for real acupuncture and may be having a real effect. That theory is supported by the fact that the researchers noted significant changes in measurements for uterus receptivity and patient stress levels after the women received both the real and placebo acupuncture.

There are two possible explanations for the study results.

"Placebo acupuncture is similar to acupressure and therefore is good enough to improve the pregnancy rate," said Ng, who added it's also possible that real acupuncture may, in some way, reduce the pregnancy rate.

"So far, there is no evidence that real acupuncture would adversely affect IVF outcomes because, in a previous meta-analysis of several acupuncture studies, the pregnancy rate was higher in the acupuncture group than in the control group. However, we cannot draw a firm conclusion about this from our current study, as we did not compare the two groups with a third control group of patients who received neither form of acupuncture. Further studies should be conducted to compare placebo or noninvasive acupuncture and controls without acupuncture," Ng said.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about acupuncture.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, news release, Nov. 12, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 13, 2008

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