A research article entitled “Effects of Acupuncture versus Sham Acupuncture on Live Births among Women Undergoing In-Vitro Fertilization, A Randomized Clinical Trail” had been published in the May 2018 issue of Journal of American Medical Association, written by Prof. Caroline Smith of Australia. Dr. Jenny attended a presentation of this research by Prof. Smith herself in August 2017 before its publication.
As expected the trial reinforced what other research into the benefits of acupuncture in IVF outcomes has found [1-4] , higher clinical pregnancy rates with the use of acupuncture in conjunction with IVF treatment (25.7% and 21.7% in this study) in contrast to the IVF success rate (20%) on its own . However surprisingly, the final conclusion in this study was “findings do not support the use of acupuncture as a means to improve the rate of live births among women undergoing IVF.”
“These results raised a few questions in my mind and I disagree with this conclusion, therefore I wrote an article to raise awareness of the research methods used, and share my thoughts on ways to improve the validity and reliability of study results.”
Dr. Jenny Li—*Acupuncture Increases the Pregnancy Rate for Women Undergoing IVF but Does Not Improve the Live Birth Outcome? Questionable Conclusion Based on a Large Sampled Acupuncture/ IVF Randomized Controlled Trial
Reference  DIETERLE S, YING G, HATZMANN W, et al. Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study [J]. Fertility and sterility, 2006, 85(5): 1347-51.  BALK J, CATOV J, HORN B, et al. The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study [J]. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 2010, 16(3): 154-7.  PAULUS W E, ZHANG M, STREHLER E, et al. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy [J]. Fertility and sterility, 2002, 77(4): 721-4.  WESTERGAARD L G, MAO Q, KROGSLUND M, et al. Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial [J]. Fertility and sterility, 2006, 85(5): 1341-6.  HAAN G. Effects and Costs of In-Vitro Fertilization: Again, Let'sBe Honest [J]. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 1991, 7(4): 585-93.