Fertility and pregnancy

Acupuncture does not boost IVF chances

Zone default image "No evidence" to support its use

There is no evidence acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine increases your chances of getting pregnant through IVF, experts have said.

UK fertility experts analysed data from 14 trials involving 2,670 people which looked at how effective acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine was in improving fertility treatment.

However, as there was no published trials on using Chinese herbal medicine along with fertility treatment of a high enough standard to be included in the study, the researchers concluded there was "currently no evidence to support the use of this in fertility treatments."

They also found that women who had used acupuncture and fertility treatment were no more likely to become pregnant or give birth to a live baby than those who had not.

This was true at all stages of fertility treatment - around the time of egg removal, on the day of embryo transfer and 2-3 days after the embryo had been transferred.

Miscarriage rates were the same for both groups of women.

Prof Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society’s Policy and Practice Committee, said: “The British Fertility Society wants to ensure that all women receive the safest treatment when undergoing fertility procedures, while also maximising their chances that the treatment will be successful.

“Following a thorough analysis of the evidence, the British Fertility Society concludes that there is currently no evidence that acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine, when used in conjunction with assisted fertility treatment, have any beneficial effect on live birth rate, pregnancy rate or miscarriage rate. Patients should be made aware of this fact before commencing treatment."

The results of the study have been used as the basis for new guidelines drawn up by the British Fertility Society.

This article was published on Wed 10 March 2010

Image © Spectral-Design - Fotolia.com

Related Stories

Use this story

Link to this page
Printer friendly version

Share this page