Research from China suggests acupuncture helps patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), undergoing IVF treatment. A total of 102 patients with PCOS who were having difficulty conceiving naturally, were randomly assigned to either receive acupuncture during their follicular phase, or to a non-acupuncture control group. Acupuncture was given at the start of the follicular phase, until two days before egg collection.
In the acupuncture group, the number of embryos transferred, plus clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates, were all significantly higher compared to the control group. Ovarian hyper-stimulation rates were also lower in the acupuncture patients. Although the researchers looked for it, they found no differences between the groups, in either serum or follicular fluid levels of anti-müllerian hormone. They speculate on various mechanisms by which acupuncture might achieve its effects in this study, including via the nervous or endocrine systems, and by modifying blood flow and reducing stress.
(The effect of acupuncture on anti-müllerian hormone and assisted reproduction outcome in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome patients undergoing in vitro fertilization. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, August 2019.)