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Acupuncture "no aid to pregnancy"

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines do not aid a woman's chances of getting pregnant, experts have said.

The British Fertility Society (BFS) advised couples undergoing fertility treatments that it found no proof the complementary treatments can improve conception.

A leading expert on complementary treatments commenting on the findings said women with fertility problems had been "misled".

The BFS carried out a systematic review of all reliable published trials looking at acupuncture administered at the same time as fertility treatment.

The information, published in the BFS journal Human Fertility, was gathered from 14 studies involving 2,670 patients and compared patients randomly assigned to receive either "real" or "fake" treatments.

Professor Adam Balen, who chairs the BFS Policy and Practice Committee, said it was important women were told there was no evidence to support that the remedies would increase their chance of having a baby.

He added: "We conclude that there is currently no evidence that acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine, when used in conjunction with assisted fertility treatment, have any beneficial effect on live birth rate, pregnancy rate or miscarriage rate."

British Fertility Society