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Fertility treatment 'not improved by acupuncture'

Women who are undergoing fertility treatment such as IVF are unlikely to improve their chances of conception with alternative therapies, according to new guidelines.

The British Fertility Society has published new guidelines explaining that there is no current evidence that undergoing acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine treatment at the same time as traditional fertility treatment will improve a woman's chances of pregnancy.

Looking at all the published randomised controlled trials, the society found none which demonstrated any improvement in rates of pregnancy.

However, Mr Michael Dooley, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, has suggested that women can take some benefits from complementary medicine.

Mr Dooley said: "I am convinced that the way forward for woman's healthcare is an integrated approach, looking after the whole person. Relying on the patient to remain passive while doctors provide some technical fix is not always the best course of action."

There have been various studies carried out on the effects of acupuncture recently with one, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, claiming that the treatment proved to be effective in alleviating lower back pain.

However, it remains unclear if this was due to a placebo effect or genuine physiologically important stimulation.

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Fertility treatment 'not improved by acupuncture'
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