• Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis.    Manheimer E et al. BMJ. 2008;336 545-549.

This review published in the BMJ concluded,  “The odds ratio of 1.65 suggests that acupuncture increased the odds of clinical pregnancy by 65% compared with the control groups… In absolute terms 10 patients would need to be treated with acupuncture to bring about one additional clinical pregnancy. These are clinically relevant benefits.” And when the 4 trials that measured live births in addition to pregnancy rates were analysed, the review team found that acupuncture increased the odds by 91% and that the number of patients who would need to be treated to bring about an additional pregnancy dropped to 9.

  • Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproductive therapy Paulus, W E, Zhang, M, Strehler, E, El-Danasouri, I, & Sterzik, K. Fertil Steril. 2002; 77(4)721-724.

A randomised study (n=80+80) To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture.
RESULT(S): Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

  • Use of Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer.
    Dalton-Brewer N et al, Hum Fert. 2010; 12 (4) 212 – 255

This most recent study describes outcomes for all IVF patients who had acupuncture before and after embryo transfer using the Paulus protocol at The London Bridge Fertility, Gynaecology and Genetics Centre in London over a 2 year period.  In the acupuncture group positive pregnancy rates/ET were 44.6%, comparing favourably with the non-acupuncture historic control group. Results for women aged 35–39 years and those over 40 years were markedly better than controls suggesting that acupuncture intervention of this type may be more effective in older women.

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