Abayomi B Ajayi,1 Tola R Ajayi,1 Iniobong S Ejeliogu,1 Victor D Ajayi,1 Bamgboye M Afolabi2

Introduction: Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medical art of relieving pain and treating other ailments, is currently applied as an adjuvant in Assisted Reproduction Therapy, but its use in the management of infertility is still in embryonic stage in Africa.

Objective: To document preliminary findings on the use of acupuncture adjuvant among women undergoing In-vitro Fertilization in Nigeria.
Materials and methods: All women who had adjunct acupuncture between August 2016 and July 2017 at Nordica Fertility Center were included in the study. These included 110 infertile females some of who were accompanied by their spouses while others came alone. Acupuncture was adjunct to IVF treatment types such as “own egg”, “recipient”, “surrogacy” and “Frozen Embryo Transfer” (FET). After all the acupuncture sessions had been done and at the completion of treatment (IVF), each woman had pregnancy test to confirm fecundity. The acupuncture points used were in conformity with international standards.

Results: A total of 110 infertile women were recruited into the study. The means (±sd) of their age, Body Mass Index and years trying to conceive were 36.9 (6.4) years, 29.8 (6.3) Kg/m2 and 6.8 (5.5) years respectively. In all, 21 (19.1%) came with their spouse, 71 (64.6%) were nulliparous, 58 (52.7%) had undergone failed IVF treatment elsewhere and 19 (17.3%) had previously undergone acupuncture at Nordica fertility Center. Those who had 1-3 acupuncture sessions were 1.33 times more likely to have a positive PT than those who had >3 acupuncture sessions (χ²=0.36, P-value=0.55, OR=1.33, 95% CI:0.53, 3.36). Normal weight women who had 1-3 acupuncture sessions were 5 times likely to have positive PT than those who had >3 acupuncture sessions (χ²=1.80, P-value=0.18, OR=5.00, 95% CI:0.81, 31.00). Overweight women who had 1-3 sessions were about equally as likely to have positive PT s those who had >3 sessions (χ²=0.00, P-value=1.00, OR=1.08, 95% CI:0.21, 5.49) while obese women who had 1-3 sessions were not likely to have positive PT as those who had >3 sessions (χ²=0.08, P-value=0.77, OR=0.54, 95% CI:0.10, 3.08).

Conclusion: Infertile women who were overweight or obese required more acupuncture sessions with IVF to have positive PT while infertile women with normal BMI required lesser acupuncture sessions to produce a positive PT result.
Keywords: adjuvant acupuncture, black africa, infertility, IVF, Nigeria

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