Acupuncture in IVF: A Review of Current Literature

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2014 Oct;34(7):555-61. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2014.919997. Epub 2014 Jun 9.


Women's choice to delay fertility due to various reasons is making subfertility a growing problem and increased use of IVF as a last resort. Despite advances in the technology, IVF success remains low, especially in older women. Hence, many of these women need to undergo several cycles of IVF and are faced with unprecedented anxiety and frustration. In desperation, they resort to anything that might increase the success of their IVF treatment. Acupuncture has gained popularity among the various complementary medicines available and many go privately to have acupuncture while undergoing IVF. Since 1999, in spite of multiple trials and systematic reviews, the beneficial effect of acupuncture in improving the success of IVF remains unproven and debatable. As clinicians, we face the dilemma of what to suggest to our patients when asked about having acupuncture during IVF, given that different meta-analyses have come to different conclusions. Hence, this review is conducted with the aim to summarise the available literature and provide a better insight into this complex and controversial topic.

Keywords: Acupuncture; IVF; anxiety; embryo transfer; infertility; oocyte aspiration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate