In the February 8, 2008 issue of the British Medical Journal a meta-analysis (a study that combines and analyzes data from many studies) of seven studies that involved 1,366 women who were undergoing in vitro fertilization, showed that acupuncture improved the chances of becoming pregnant by 65% when compared to women who underwent sham acupuncture.
The authors of the study do say that “It is important to note, however, that the odds ratio significantly overestimates the rate ratio in this context, in which the event (pregnancy) is relatively frequent. In absolute terms, the number needed to treat was 10, suggesting that 10 patients would need to be treated with acupuncture to bring about one additional clinical pregnancy.”
They addressed safety issues as well saying : “Safety and costs are other considerations. Two large prospective surveys of practitioners show that serious adverse events after acupuncture are rare. Among women in labour and women at various stages of pregnancy, systematic reviews and randomised trials have shown acupuncture to be safe, although limited sample sizes preclude definitive conclusions. The effects of acupuncture in early pregnancy on complications later in pregnancy and on perinatal and infant outcomes have also been investigated in one trial, and no safety concerns were detected.