There is insufficient evidence to say whether acupuncture helps women conceive when undergoing fertility treatments, British researchers told a conference on Tuesday.
A review of 13 studies showed there was not enough evidence to say acupuncture boosts pregnancy rates during in vitro fertilization treatments, said Sesh Sunkara, a researcher at Guy’s Hospital in London.
“The current available evidence is not conclusive,” she told reporters at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting.
Her analysis included nearly 2,500 women who received acupuncture in hopes of boosting their chance of pregnancy after in-vitro fertilization — the procedure known as test-tube baby treatment.
Sunkara said several studies suggested that women who used acupuncture were less tired and needed fewer painkillers after in vitro fertilization but her review focused only on pregnancy rates.
Acupuncture is based on Chinese theories of energy flow through the body, or qi, and has been scientifically shown to work to help patients with nausea caused by anesthetics during surgery or caused by chemotherapy or to relieve dental pain.
It involves inserting thin needles into specific body points.