ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
CANCER
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Sleep and Do Better
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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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