Acupuncture/ pressurePregnancy

Acupuncture and assisted conception

 This Cochrane review from the University of Southampton in the UK concludes the evidence doesn’t support the practice.

A reader comments and I reply. So, it’s back to the top of the queue.

First, the details.

  • Among 16 studies, 13 were worth including in this review.
  • A meta-analysis was performed by combining the study results.
  • The reviewers looked for benefit in live birth rate, clinical ongoing pregnancy rate, miscarriage rate, and side effects of treatment.

And, the results.

  • There was evidence of benefit as measured by live birth rate when acupuncture was performed on the day of embryo transfer.
  • There was no benefit when it was performed 2 to 3 days later.
  • There was no evidence of benefit when acupuncture was performed around the time of oocyte retrieval (removal of eggs from the woman’s ovary in order to fertilize it outside the body).

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that the apparent benefit from acupuncture performed on the day of embryo transfer might have been due to a placebo effect and the small number of women included in the studies.

They advise, “Acupuncture should not be offered during the luteal phase in routine clinical practice until further evidence is available” from studies that are better designed.

10/12/08 14:44 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.