Women Given Acupuncture at Embryo Transfer Do Better in IVF — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 8, 2008

Women Given Acupuncture at Embryo Transfer Do Better in IVF

Giving women acupuncture as a complementary therapy around the time of embryo transfer seems to heighten the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF), a BMJ meta-analysis reports.

Investigators evaluated seven randomized trials comprising nearly 1400 women during single cycles of IVF. Eligible trials used either sham acupuncture or no adjuvant treatment in controls, and performed acupuncture within a day of embryo transfer. (Trials using non-needle acupuncture techniques, such as laser or electro-acupuncture, were excluded.)

Acupuncture favored success for clinical pregnancy (odds ratio, 1.65), ongoing pregnancy (1.87), and live birth (1.91). The investigators calculated an NNT of 10 to achieve one additional clinical pregnancy.

The authors say estimates of the effects of acupuncture on IVF are "significant and clinically relevant," albeit "somewhat preliminary," given the need for more confirmatory data.

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