Acupuncture/ pressurePregnancy

Review: Acupuncture in reproductive medicine

Acupuncture has been used as treatment for infertility for hundreds of years.

Researchers at Tor Vergata University, in Rome, Italy, reviewed the evidence.

First, the details.

  • All studies reviewed included at least English-language abstracts.

And, the results.

  • There is evidence of benefit in the live birth rate mainly when acupuncture is performed on the day of embryo transfer.
  • There was also benefit when acupuncture is performed for female infertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • There was some evidence of improved sperm quality when acupuncture was performed on men affected by idiopathic infertility.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Acupuncture seems to have beneficial effects on live birth rate when performed on the day of embryo transfer, and to be useful also in polycystic ovary syndrome as well as in male idiopathic infertility, with very low incidence of side effects.”

Contrary to this, researchers at the Fertility – Assisted Fertilization Center, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, examined the hypothesis that acupuncture treatment may increase the pregnancy rate in patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

They concluded, “Acupuncture treatment had no influence when performed immediately before and immediately after embryo transfer, on clinical outcomes overall.”

The researchers in Rome recommend more research to confirm these results and expand our knowledge of the mechanisms involved.

2/8/11 20:19 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.