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Improving IVF Outcome with Acupuncture

At Komyniti our acupuncture treatments are always informed and up to date with the most recent evidence and research. When it comes to supporting clients going through IVF with acupuncture we always provide our clients with evidence-based approaches to deliver the highest possible outcomes.

In 2019 there were two systematic reviews and meta-analysis research articles published. The results for both research articles found that acupuncture with IVF transfers procedures achieved positive clinical outcomes. The two research articles by Smith et al 2019 and Xie et al, 2019 used trials that tested two control groups. Acupuncture vs sham acupuncture with IVF and acupuncture vs no acupuncture treatment with IVF. In both research articles, there was no difference seen in live birth outcomes and pregnancy rates in the acupuncture vs sham acupuncture groups. On the other hand, when we compared acupuncture with the no treatment control group the results provided positive outcomes for acupuncture’s effectiveness.


Key Results:

Clinical pregnancy rates increased from 28% to 32%

Ongoing pregnancy rate increased by 42%

Live birth rate increased by 30%

Miscarriage rate decreased by 43%

(Smith et al, 2019 & Xie et al, 2019)


Other important findings from the two research articles that can assist in better outcomes.


3 or more acupuncture treatments throughout a cycle increase pregnancy rates by  50% to 60%.

9 to 12 acupuncture treatments before embryo transfer and on the day improved live birth rates in observation studies.

Participants with a history of failed IVF cycles benefited from acupuncture. With statistics showing a clinical pregnancy rate increasing up to 60% and live births at 42%.

Modifications to commonly used acupuncture protocols such as the Paulus protocol were shown to be more effective than following a protocol stringently.

(Smith et al, 2019 & Xie et al, 2019)


What about the sham acupuncture group?


The use of sham acupuncture is controversial as the studies used mixed approaches by either using penetrating needles just off the correct points or non penetrating needles. Therefore, amongst other design flaws can create perplexing outcomes that affect the results when comparing them to an acupuncture treatment group.


Evidenced-based IVF acupuncture


A total of 47 trials with 11246 participants provided these statistical results and from the data and we can consider that the addition of acupuncture with IVF increases the chances of a successful outcome. At Komyuniti we have a modified acupuncture protocol based on these findings and we are continually updating and modifying our approach to bring our clients the highest quality of evidence-based acupuncture treatment approach.

Written by Daniel Ooi




Smith CA, Armour M, Shewamene Z, Tan HY, Norman RJ, Johnson NP. Acupuncture performed around the time of embryo transfer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online.2019;38(3):364–379.

Xie ZY, Peng ZH, Yao B, et al. The effects of acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes of in vitro fertilization: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med.2019;19(1):131.


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