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Study: Acupuncture doesn't boost fertility

Study: Acupuncture doesn't boost fertility


Claudia Boyd-Barrett

posted in Pregnancy

Acupuncture can make you feel more relaxed, but it won’t help you get pregnant, according to the results of a recent clinical trial.

Doctors sometimes recommend acupuncture to women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment as a way to boost their chances of conception. A few small studies have suggested this ancient form of Chinese medicine could help increase fertility.

But scientists in New Zealand and Australia found that acupuncture had no statistically significant effect on women who received the treatment while undergoing IVF. They recruited almost 850 women and divided them into two groups. One group received real acupuncture before and during IVF treatment. The other group got fake acupuncture treatments.

Neither group knew which type of acupuncture they received.


Among the women treated with authentic acupuncture, 74 had babies. In the control group, 72 women gave birth. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the researchers concluded that acupuncture had no measurable impact on the women’s fertility rates.

Nevertheless, acupuncture may still be beneficial if you’re going through IVF, lead author Caroline Smith told the New York Times. She pointed to other research showing acupuncture can reduce stress, which could be helpful during the emotional throes of fertility treatment.

Have you tried acupuncture or any other alternative therapies while trying to get pregnant? Tell us about your experience.

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