Does acupuncture work for infertility?

Erika Tabke
Erika Tabke on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Studies of the effectiveness of acupuncture as a complementary therapy to infertility treatment have shown mixed results. But that doesn't mean acupuncture doesn't work -- it turns out that it is much more difficult to study and make generalizations about acupuncture than it is to study Western Medicine.

Western Medicine is often standardized, and treatment tends to be similar from patient to patient. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), patients with the same disease often present with different 'syndrome' patterns due to individual differences - so no two people receive the same treatment. An acupuncture practitioner may choose to place the needles completely different places for different infertility patients, making it very hard to compare outcomes between them.

Thousands of women each year choose acupuncture to increase the likelihood of infertility treatment success. Studies have shown that between 10-25% of women undergoing IVF supplement their treatment with acupuncture or other alternative therapies, and research has found that a majority of women who use complementary treatments report that they are effective.
There has only been one controlled research trial involving in vitro fertilization (IVF) and acupuncture. This study showed some promise of increased fertility effectiveness of acupuncture when combined with IVF. Other studies have not shown much fertility improvement with acupuncture, and there needs to be more controlled, randomized studies with increased numbers of participants before any true connection can be established.

Continue Learning about Acupuncture

What is an acupuncture point injection?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
An acupuncture point injection is a procedure in which drugs, vitamins, herbal extracts, or other fl...
More Answers
How does acupuncture use pulses for diagnosis?
Dr. Kathleen HallDr. Kathleen Hall
In acupuncture, the pulses reveal immediate information on the stress levels in the body. If the...
More Answers
What should I expect during electroacupuncture?
Dr. Daniel Hsu, DAOMDr. Daniel Hsu, DAOM
A typical electroacupuncture (EA) treatment lasts for a minimum of 30 minutes. The frequency and int...
More Answers
Is Acupuncture Effective?
Is Acupuncture Effective?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.