Point of Influence: What is the Role of Acupuncture in In Vitro Fertilization Outcomes?

Volume 31, Number 6, 2019

Lee Hollander Rubin from the University of California summarises the latest analyses of the effectiveness of acupuncture intervention for IVF patients. The incidence of live births in IVF patients who had acupuncture was seen to be significantly increased in recent meta-analyses, especially in women who had had previous failed cycles.




Augmenting in vitro fertilization (IVF) with acupuncture is a popular adjuvant therapy in the United States, but
its influence on IVF birth outcomes remains controversial. Recent meta-analyses found acupuncture is effective
to increase the risk of live births by 30% when acupuncture was compared with no treatment in nine trials of
1,980 women. The efficacy of acupuncture is unclear, however, and confounded by the need for an adequate,
inert control. Acupuncture does not increase the risk of miscarriage. Additionally, acupuncture was 42% more
effective to increase live births when women had previously failed a cycle, and baseline pregnancy rate
continues to mediate acupuncture’s effects. The characteristics of treatment more favorable to improving birth
outcomes included more treatments, timing treatments in the period before and on the day of embryo transfer
(ET), and using a modified Paulus protocol on the day of ET. These findings should inform the dosage, timing,
and components of acupuncture therapy and type of comparator in future trials investigating the effects of
acupuncture on IVF outcomes.

Full Paper here …..

lee hollander rubin 2019