In one California fertility clinic acupuncture is standard therapy for 85% of women. Now, three clinical trials published this year report an improved rate of pregnancy among women undergoing in vitro fertilization and acupuncture.
At a private clinic, 273 women were randomly assigned to acupuncture or no treatment. Those getting acupuncture immediately before embryo transfer had significantly higher clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates. Positive results were also reported among 225 women at a university clinic in a study comparing luteal phase acupuncture to sham acupuncture.
A third study in 228 women reported that the odds of achieving a pregnancy were 1.5 times higher with acupuncture vs. no treatment — a difference that was not statistically significant. Similarly, in 2002, a study of 160 women reported a pregnancy rate twice as high with acupuncture 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer vs. no acupuncture. No statistical analysis was reported in this trial.
Dr. Alice Domar is an international leader in the field of mind/body medicine and women’s health. Her website states, “The Domar Center offers acupuncture sessions for all conditions … as well as pre and post embryo transfer sessions … Research suggests that acupuncture treatments before and after embryo transfer in infertility patients may help improve pregnancy rates.”
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.