Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:06

The effect of acupuncture on IVF successes rates and live birth rates - Karin Gillerman

Over the last 20 years, many clinical trials have attempted to assess the benefits of acupuncture on IVF treatment but they have all  differed in study design, protocol, outcome measures and commercial bias. This heterogeneity has precluded any firm conclusion regarding the efficacy or otherwise of acupuncture in this field. To address this heterogeneity, and to try and  provide an evidence based conclusion , it was decided to adopt the Delphi consensus protocol which was reached in 2012 via 15 international acupuncturists with extended experience in treating women with acupuncture during IVF. This protocol was recommended for future research (Smith et al 2012) but so far has not been implemented:  this is the first study to use it.
The  study was a randomised controlled trial which was  conducted over 2 years at the fertility department of the Homerton hospital in London. The primary end point was live birth rate.
The final results show a large difference between the acupuncture group and the control group in favour of acupuncture.  The acupuncture group was found to be superior for both positive pregnancy tests   and live birth rates.
 The results of this study suggest that acupuncture should be offered as a possible method of improving IVF outcome. This study is the first to follow a widely approved consensus protocol hoping to settle disagreement in the literature and resolve previous disparity.