The role of an acupuncture protocol in improving women’s reproductive functioning assessed by a pilot pragmatic randomized controlled trial


This study asked whether providing a multiphasic fertility acupuncture protocol to women with sub/infertility would increase their awareness of fertility and achieve normalization of their menstrual cycle compared with a lifestyle control. The acupuncture protocol tested influenced women who received it compared to women who used lifestyle modification alone: their fertility awareness and wellbeing increased, and those who conceived did so in half the time.

METHODS - In a pragmatic randomized controlled trial sub/infertile women were offered an intervention of acupuncture and lifestyle modification or lifestyle modification only.


RESULTS - There was a statistically significant increase in fertility awareness in the acupuncture group (86.4%, 19) compared to 40% (n=8) of the lifestyle only participants (Relative Risk (RR) 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.25, 4.50), with an adjusted value of 0.011.

  • Changes in menstrual regularity were not statistically significant.

  • There was no statistical difference in the pregnancy rate with seven women (adjusted p=0.992) achieving pregnancy during the course of the study intervention.

  • Those receiving the acupuncture conceived within an average of 5.5 weeks compared to 10.67 weeks for the lifestyle only group (p=0.422)

Suzanne Cochrane, Caroline A. Smith, Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, and Alan Bensoussan, “Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3587569, 11 pages, 2016.

For more information about acupuncture for fertility visit Erin Boedeker at Stillpoint Acupuncture!