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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2024, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 32-38.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2024.01.005

• Original Chinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation benefits postoperative pain relief of oocyte retrieval: A randomized controlled trial

Li-ying Liu a, Yang Su a, Rong-rong Wang a, Yuan-yuan Lai a, Lei Huang a, Yi-ting Li a, Xin-yue Tao a, Meng-hua Su a, Xiao-yan Zheng a, Shi-chen Huang b, Yong-na Wu a, Si-yi Yu a, Fan-rong Liang a, Jie Yang a,b   

  1. a Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610000, Sichuan Province, China
    b Traditional Chinese Medicine Department, Sichuan Jinxin Xi’nan Women's and Children's Hospital, Chengdu 610000, Sichuan Province, China
  • Received:2023-02-20 Accepted:2023-12-16 Online:2024-01-31 Published:2024-01-24
  • Contact: Jie Yang; E-mail address: Fan-rong Liang; E-mail address:

Transvaginal oocyte retrieval is frequently followed by adverse events related to anesthesia and the procedure. Some research showed that transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) can relieve intraoperative pain and postoperative nausea.

This study examined whether TEAS can alleviate pain and relieve adverse symptoms after oocyte retrieval.

Design, setting, participants and interventions

Altogether 128 patients were randomly divided into the TEAS group and the mock TEAS group. The two groups received a 30-minute-long TEAS or mock TEAS treatment that began 30 min after oocyte retrieval.

Main outcome measures

The primary outcome was the visual analog scale (VAS) pain score. Secondary outcomes were pressure pain threshold, McGill score, pain rating index (PRI), present pain intensity (PPI), VAS stress score, VAS anxiety score, and postoperative adverse symptoms.

The baseline characteristics of the two groups were comparable (P > 0.05). The VAS pain scores of the TEAS group were lower than those of the mock TEAS group at 60 and 90 min after oocyte retrieval (P < 0.05). The McGill score, PRI and PPI in the TEAS group were significantly lower than those in the control group at 60 min after oocyte retrieval (P < 0.05). However, the two groups had equivalent beneficial effects regarding the negative emotions, such as nervousness and anxiety (P > 0.05). The TEAS group was superior to the mock TEAS group for relieving postoperative adverse symptoms (P < 0.05).

TEAS treatment can relieve postoperative pain and postoperative adverse symptoms for patients undergoing oocyte retrieval.

Trial registration number


Key words: Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, Fertilization, Embryo transfer, Oocyte retrieval, Pain, Randomized controlled trial

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