Acupuncture 'provides no help with IVF'

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London, Mar 10 (ANI): Acupuncture do nothing to increase the chance of getting pregnant through IVF, fertility experts have said.

Before issuing the new guidance, experts at the British Fertility Society analysed 14 trials involving 2,670 people.

"All the trials involved acupuncture, in which needles were inserted into different areas of the body at different stages in the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycle," reports The BBC.

After analyses, the boffins found that no matter at what stage of the process acupuncture was used, it had no impact on the pregnancy or live birth rate.

They did however also find it caused no harm, with no difference in miscarriage rates.

There were no published trials on the use of Chinese herbs which were rigorous enough for inclusion, so the team concluded that there was "currently no evidence to support the use of this in fertility treatments".

Professor Adam Balen, head of BFS's policy and practice committee, said: "Any future randomised controlled trials in this area need to ensure that they use a standardized acupuncture method, have a large sample size and include adequate controls to account for any placebo effects."

One high-profile practitioner, Dr Xiao-Ping Zhai, of The Zhai Fertility Treatment Clinic, said: "Certainly for those with unexplained fertility problems in particular, we know acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can be beneficial. What matters is both the expertise and experience of the practitioner, but most of all the treatment of the patient as an individual. It is the tailored treatment which is key. We need clinical trials that take this into account."

A statement from the British Acupuncture Council stated:

"Fertility focused acupuncture treatment has been found to help increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, balance hormone levels, regulate the menstrual cycle and help improve the lining of the uterus and quality of eggs released.

"BACC practitioners recognise that there are many factors which may cause infertility such as stress, irregular hormone levels and disrupted menstrual cycles. As a holistic therapy, acupuncture helps to identify underlying health issues which may cause disruption to the body's natural balance, resulting in symptoms such as infertility."(ANI)

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