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The effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in IVF: A critical narrative review

The effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in IVF A critical narrative review
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Complementary Medicine: Education and Research

Vol.1, No. 1, pp. 59-71, Feb 2024

Received Aug 10, 2023; Revised Oct 19, 2023; Accepted 21 Dec, 2023

3006-273X / © 2024 by CMER

Published by Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Association of Africa. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.

The effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in IVF: A critical narrative review


Wolf, N[1]

[1] Corresponding author: Dr N Wolf Inc.Email: Postal address: 826 Cascades Rd, Little falls ext 1, Roodepoort, South Africa.  ORCID: 0009-0004-2032-3496

To cite this article:

Wolf, N. (2024). The effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in IVF: A critical narrative review, Complementary Medicine: Education and Research, 1(1), 59-71.


Assisted reproductive technologies, particularly in vitro fertilization, have become integral in addressing infertility concerns. Despite advancements in IVF, challenges persist, leading to exploration of adjunctive therapies. Acupuncture has gained interest as a complementary intervention for individuals undergoing in vitro fertilization. This narrative review synthesises existing literature, critically evaluating methodologies and outcomes of studies investigating acupuncture's role in IVF. The review aimed to provide a nuanced perspective on acupuncture's effectiveness in assisted reproduction, focusing on pregnancy rates, implantation success, and live birth rates. A comprehensive literature search was conducted on databases such as PubMed and Embase, limited to English studies published in the last 10 years. A narrative synthesis approach was employed to summarize findings, addressing variations in study designs and reported outcomes. The results encompass ten selected studies, employing diverse participant numbers and research designs. Manual acupuncture was the predominant technique, with one study utilising electroacupuncture and another incorporating moxibustion. This diversity necessitates a thorough examination to draw meaningful conclusions regarding acupuncture's impact on IVF outcomes. The critical review contributes to the ongoing discourse on integrating traditional and modern therapeutic modalities, fostering a comprehensive understanding of acupuncture's potential synergy with IVF for successful pregnancies.

Keywords: acupuncture; IVF; infertility; alternative medicine; review



Author’s Disclosure Statement

The study wasn’t funded by any organization or institution. The author declared that she had no financial or personal relationships that might have inappropriately influenced her in writing this article.


The author declared no conflicts of interest.



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