Effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a prospective randomised controlled study

Acupunct Med. 2012 Jun;30(2):85-8. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2011-010064. Epub 2012 Apr 12.


Purpose: To determine if acupuncture improves symptoms of anxiety in infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

Methods: A randomised clinical trial was performed in 43 patients undergoing IVF. The patients were randomised into two groups: test group (n=22) and control group (n=21). The anxiety level of each patient was analysed before and after treatment using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAS). Treatment sessions consisted of four weekly sessions. In the test group, needles were inserted at points HT7, PC6, CV17, GV20 and Yintang. In the control group, needles were inserted in areas near but not corresponding to acupuncture points.

Results: The mean HAS score after the 4-week experimental period was significantly lower in the test group than in the control group (19.4 ± 3.2 vs 24.4 ± 4.2; p=0.0008).

Conclusions: The results indicate that acupuncture can reduce anxiety symptoms observed by the reduction of psychological parameters of women undergoing IVF. Further evidence should be sought as to whether acupuncture might be a complementary option for patients undergoing IVF.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / complications*
  • Infertility, Female / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome