ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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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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