Conscious sedation and analgesia for oocyte retrieval during in vitro fertilisation procedures

I Kwan, Siladitya Bhattacharya, F Knox, A McNeil, Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group

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20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Various methods of sedation and analgesia have been used for pain relief during oocyte recovery in IVF/ICSI procedures. The choice of agents has also been influenced by quality of analgesia as well as by concern about possible detrimental effects on reproductive outcome. OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of conscious sedation and analgesia versus alternative methods on pregnancy outcomes and pain relief in patients undergoing transvaginal oocyte retrieval. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Specialised Register of the Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group, The Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) , MEDLINE (1966 to present), EMBASE (1980 to present), CINAHL (1982 to present), the National Research Register, and Current Controlled Trials. There was no language restriction. All references in the identified trials and background papers were checked and authors contacted to identify relevant published and unpublished data. SELECTION CRITERIA: Only randomised controlled trials comparing conscious sedation and analgesia versus alternative methods for pain relief during oocyte recovery were included. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently scanned abstracts of the reports identified by electronic searching to identify relevant papers, extracted data and assessed trial quality. Interventions were classified and analysed under broad categories/strategies of pain relief comparing conscious sedation/analgesia with alternative methods and administration protocols. MAIN RESULTS: Our search strategy identified 390 potentially eligible reports and 12 papers met our inclusion criteria. There were no significant differences in clinical pregnancy rates per woman and patient satisfaction between the methods compared. Women's perception of pain showed conflicting results. Due to considerable heterogeneity, in terms of types and dosages of sedation or analgesia used, and tools used to assess the principal outcomes of pain and satisfaction, a meta-analysis of all the studies was not attempted. Of the three trials which compared the effect of conventional medical analgesia plus paracervical block versus electro-acupuncture plus paracervical block, there was no significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates per woman in the two groups (OR 1.01; 95% CI 0.73 to 1.4). For intra-operative pain score as measured by visual analogue scale (VAS), there was a significant difference (WMD -4.95; 95% CI -7.84 to -2.07), favouring conventional medical analgesia plus paracervical block . There was also a significant difference in intra-operative pain by VAS between patient-controlled sedation and physician-administered sedation (WMD 5.98; 95% CI 1.63 to 10.33), favouring physician -administered sedation. However, as different types and dosages of sedative and analgesic agents were used in these trials, these data should be interpreted with caution. For the rest of the trials, a descriptive summary of the outcomes was presented. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence to determine the effect of different methods of pain relief when compared with conscious sedation and analgesia used during oocyte recovery. In this review, no one particular pain relief method or delivery system appeared to be better than the other. In future, greater consensus is needed to determine both the tools used to evaluate pain and the timing of pain evaluation during and after the procedure. Pain assessment using both subjective and objective measures may merit consideration. In addition, future trials should include intra- and post-operative adverse respiratory and cardiovascular events as outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD004829
Number of pages44
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2005


  • analgesia
  • conscious sedation
  • female
  • fertilization in vitro
  • humans
  • randomized controlled trials as topic
  • tissue and organ harvesting
  • patient-controlled analgesia
  • paracervical-block
  • follicular-fluid
  • double blind
  • pain relief
  • controlled trial
  • mouse oocytes
  • IVF program
  • anesthesia


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