A research team from Nanjing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine reviewed digital databases for relevant studies, including Embase, PubMed, Cochrane Library and some Chinese databases up to December 2018, for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effects of acupuncture on women undergoing IVF. They screened out 27 studies with 6116 participants in the study. The pooled clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) from all of acupuncture groups was significantly greater than that of control groups (RR 1.21, 95% CI: 1.07–1.38)! Meta-regression subgroup analysis showed a more significant benefit of acupuncture for repeated IVF cycle proportion (number of women with a history of prior unsuccessful IVF attempt divided by number of women included in each trial) ≥ 50% group (CPR: RR 1.60, 95% CI: 1.28–2.00; LBR: RR 1.42, 95% CI: 1.05–1.92), and this covariate explained most of the heterogeneity (CPR and LBR: adjusted R2 = 100 and 87.90%). Similar results were found between CPR and number of acupuncture treatments (CPR: p = 0.002, adjusted R2 = 51.90%), but not LBR.
Finally they concluded that acupuncture could be beneficial for IVF outcomes in women with a history of unsuccessful IVF attempt, and number of acupuncture treatments was a potential influential factor.
Xie ZY, Peng ZH, Yao B, Chen L, Mu YY, Cheng J, Li Q, Luo X, Yang PY, Xia YB. The effects of acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2019 Dec;19(1):131.