Facing acupuncture needles in hopes of conceiving?
According to a recent study, acupuncture won’t help you get pregnant if you are undergoing fertility treatments.
The study has caused quite a stir, as some people swear by the practice and contend that it did, in fact, help them achieve a pregnancy.
As part of the study, about 800 women received official acupuncture or a placebo procedure using a non-insertive needle. Results were obtained from 16 fertility centers in New Zealand and Australia. Women were undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and were between 18 and 42 years old.
They found that 18.3 percent of women had live births compared to 17.8 percent who received the sham procedure.
The researchers did say that the women reported feeling better and less stressed as a result of the procedure—regardless of which one they underwent.
Caroline Smith, one of the researchers, said that the procedures were performed during ovarian stimulation or on the day of embryo transfer. In clinical practice, though, treatments can be more frequent prior to or during the IVF cycle, which presents a limitation in the experiment.
“Although our findings do not support acupuncture as an efficacious treatment compared to sham, some studies suggest reproductive outcomes maybe improved when acupuncture is compared with no treatment,” she said.
This is not the first time acupuncture was studied with respect to fertility. A 2013 study covering about 4,000 women found that acupuncture did not increase pregnancy rates as a booster during the IVF process, but it did seem to increase rates at some IVF clinics with lower pregnancy rates.
The American Pregnancy Association reports that acupuncture can help underlying conditions—such as thyroid issues—in women trying to conceive.