Acupuncture assists with IVF success, as measured by pregnancy rates, in women with unexplained infertility. In a trial run by Ataturk University, Turkey, researchers randomly allocated 72 women, mean age 31, to either either an acupuncture or a no-treatment control group. The acupuncture group were given three treatment sessions, one week prior to embryo transfer, 30 minutes before transfer, and a final one 30 minutes after transfer.
Compared with the control group, the acupuncture group displayed a significantly higher clinical pregnancy rate (64% versus 33%), ongoing pregnancy rate (56% versus 31%) and live birth rate (53% versus 40%). Acupuncture also significantly reduced anxiety before transfer.
In their paper, the team discuss how acupuncture’s regulatory effect on the hypothalamic–pituitary–ovarian axis may influence ovulation, ovarian blood flow and uterine blood flow. Acupuncture may help implantation of the embryo via reduced uterine motility.
(Effectiveness of acupuncture on pregnancy success rates for women undergoing in vitro fertilization: A randomized controlled trial. Taiwan Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, March 2020.)