Acupuncture and IVF


Many clinical studies attempted to evaluate whether acupuncture would increase the success rate of IVF. In 2008, a research group from University of Maryland School of Medicine published a highly valuable analysis study.

This review paper pooled seven randomized trials Looking at the effect of acupuncture treatment within one day of embryo transfer on subsequent pregnancy rate. All these studies compared real acupuncture with sham (fake) acupuncture or no acupuncture treatment. These trials included total of 1366 women undergoing in vitro fertilization.

The results indicated that the embryo transfer process with acupuncture was associated with significant and clinically relevant improvements in clinical pregnancy (odds ratio 1.65, 95% confidence interval 1.27 to 2.14; number needed to treat (NNT) 10 (7 to 17); seven trials), ongoing pregnancy (1.87, 1.40 to 2.49; NNT 9 (6 to 15); five trials), and live birth (1.91, 1.39 to 2.64; NNT 9 (6 to 17); four trials).

The researchers stated, “Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization by up to 65%”.

Manheimer E et al., Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis., BMJ. 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9. Epub 2008 Feb 7