Can acupuncture help me get pregnant?

Q: Can acupuncture help me get pregnant?

A: Results from studies regarding fertility and acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice that (in this case) involves placing tiny needles into areas of the body thought to influence fertility, are mixed. In 2006, a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility showed that 36 percent of women who had acupuncture before and after embryo transfer during IVF got pregnant, versus 22 percent of those who didn’t have the needle therapy. Three years later, however, a study published in the same journal reported no significant difference in pregnancy rates between the two groups. The discrepancies could be due to fertility-impairing stress levels, says Sarah Berga, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and associate dean at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, NC. “People can be a little or a lot stressed,” she explains. “It might be that acupuncture can help those that are a little, but not a lot, stressed.”

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