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expert comments on effect of acupuncture on fertility as published in the journal Human Reproduction

The study suggests that acupuncture may reduce the rate of pregnancy when given to patients undergoing fertility treatment.

Prof Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, said:

“This seems like a well-conducted study and an interesting result, which could be interpreted as either: ‘real acupuncture reduces pregnancy rates’ or; that ‘neither real nor sham acupuncture has any effect on pregnancy rates and the apparent difference is just a fluke’ (“p=0.05” means that 5 out of 100 times, this study would have shown such a finding).

“The authors’ suggestion that both treatments are effective, however, makes no sense at all, because they didn’t have a third group that compared the results with people receiving ‘no placebo or real acupuncture treatment’. In any case, the study confirms that previous studies and meta-analyses showing a positive effect of acupuncture are far less convincing than some may have thought.”

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