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 authorsâ€™ 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.”