Acupuncture & IVF: Improves Success or Placebo Effect? Journal Club Live July 2013

Welcome to the Fertility Sterility Live June 10th, 2013
Journal Club Live!™ Platform Event for Fertility

“Acupuncture & IVF : Improves Success or Placebo Effect?”

This is the world’s first online live video journal club. For hundreds of years journal clubs have been the main way medical professionals learned new breakthroughs and how to critically read the medical literature. However the world is rapidly changing….

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Recorded Live – 700 PM EDT Monday July 1, 2013



Paper for discussion: Acupuncture—help, harm, or placebo?

Fertility and Sterility Volume 99, Issue 7 , Pages 1821-1824, June 2013

The most recent meta-analysis appearing in Fertility and Sterility on acupuncture was reevaluated in view of the marked heterogeneity of interventions, controls, data analysis, and timing of interventions in the trials that were included. After removing some of the trials and data based on more rigorous standards for a high quality meta-analysis, a significant benefit of the intervention could no longer be shown. When studies with and without placebo controls were analyzed separately, a placebo effect was suggested. Individual trials with a confidence limit below unity emphasized the potential for a detrimental impact on outcomes, which should be considered both in using acupuncture clinically as an adjunct for IVF and in design of future trials. Much more data that includes a placebo control will be required before a conclusion can be made that acupuncture has a true treatment effect on IVF outcomes. However, unless the timing and method of the acupuncture are standardized, practitioners will still have difficulty being sure that their particular method will help beyond the apparent benefit provided by a placebo.


David Meldrum, MD – (author) USC, and Reproductive Partners Medical Group, Redondo Beach, California
Samantha Butts, MD – (author) University of Pennsylvania
Andrew Fisher BSE- (author) University of Pennsylvania
Kurt Barnhardt, MD University of Pennsylvania
Lauren Johnson, MD University of Pennsylvania
Rachel Weinerman, MD- University of Pennsylvania
Steven Palter, MD- Gold Coast IVF
Monica Romeu, MD University Hospital Le Fe
Professor XioKe Wu, MD Harbin China
Micah Hill, MD – NIH Walter Reed Medical Center

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