Adjunctive Acupuncture Improves Pregnancy Rates in Women Having IVF
Researchers gathered information about acupuncture use with IVF from seven previous studies. The results, published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) , showed that pregnancy rates improved with the addition of acupuncture.
About the Study
To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the success of in vitro fertilization, researchers reviewed and combined results from 7 randomized trials. The studies followed a total of 1,366 women having one treatment of in vitro fertilization. Within one day of embryo transfer the women had one of the following:
- Needle acupuncture
- Sham acupuncture (A simulated procedure so the patient believes she is receiving a treatment. This helps eliminate the possibility of a placebo effect)
- No acupuncture.
The women were then followed until the end of their pregnancies. Acupuncture did help increase the rates of success for in vitro fertilization.
- In an analysis of 1,366 women, pregnancy was achieved in 32% of those who had acupuncture and 26.7% of those without.
- In an analysis of 690 women, pregnancies continued beyond 12 weeks in 30% of those who had acupuncture and 18.9% of those without.
- Finally, in analysis of 226 women, live births occurred in 30.6% of those who had acupuncture and 19% of those without.
How Does This Affect You?
Every year 10-15% of couples seek medical help for infertility. Techniques that improve the success rate are important to decrease the length, cost, and stress of these procedures. This review has shown the potential to improve conception rates with no negative side effects. Future studies should provide more details. If you are currently undergoing IVF, talk to your physician about using acupuncture.
American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
American Pregnancy Association
The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
Women's Health Matters
In Vitro Fertilization. American Pregnancy Association. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/index.htm . Accessed on April 2, 2008.
Manheimer, E., Zhang, G., Udoff, L., et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ . 2008;336:545. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/336/7643/545 . Accessed: April 3, 2008.
Last reviewed Last reviewed April 2008 by
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