Pain during oocyte retrieval, which can make the in-vitro fertilization process an unpleasant experience, is becoming a common problem. Although there are many analgesic methods available in the clinical setting, they are not therapeutically equivalent, and some are associated with varying adverse reactions. In recent years, acupuncture analgesia has been used in the perioperative period of oocyte retrieval because of its perceived efficacy and safety. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to provide evidence that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of vaginal oocyte retrieval pain.
Electronic searches of the following six databases will be conducted by two qualified reviewers: MEDLINE, EMBASE, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Biomedical Medicine database, VIP database and Wanfang database. Three clinical trial registries will also be searched: World Health Organization International Clinical Trial Registry Platform, Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and ClinicalTrials.Gov. All searches will cover the period from inception of the database/registry to March 2020 and will be limited to publications in English and Chinese. Data identification, data selection, data extraction, and bias risk assessment will be conducted independently by3ν two or more qualified reviewers, including those who selected the studies. Visual analogue scale scores will be calculated as the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes will include results of other subjective pain rating scales, including Likert scales or other defined numerical or non-numerical scales, self-assessed by patients before, during, and after oocyte retrieval. We will use STATA software (Version 16) to perform meta-analyses, and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations framework to grade the quality of evidence. If quantitative analysis is not available, a systematic narrative synthesis will be provided.