Acupuncture improves the success rates of IVF treatment

Objectives: To evaluate the report quality, methodological quality and evidence quality of the systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SRs/MAs) of acupuncture for in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET).

Methods: The SRs/MAs of acupuncture for IVF-ET were searched electronically from databases of CNKI, Wanfang, VIP, SinoMed, PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, from inception of each database to September 27th, 2022. Two reviewers independently screened the literature and extracted the data. Using PRISMA statement, the AMSTAR 2 scale and the GRADE system, the report quality, methodological quality and evidence quality of the included SRs/MAs were assessed.

Results: A total of 28 SRs/MAs were included, with PRISMA scores ranging from 8.5 points to 27 points. The problems of report quality focused on protocol and registration, retrieval, risk of bias in studies, additional analysis, limitations and funding. The methodological quality of included studies was generally low, reflecting on items 2, 3, 7, 10, 12 and 16. A total of 85 outcome indexes were included in the GRADE system for evidence grade evaluation. Most of the evidences were low or very low in quality. The reasons for the downgrade were related to study limitations, inconsistency, imprecision and publication bias.

Conclusions: Acupuncture therapy improves the outcomes of IVF-ET, but the methodological quality and evidence quality of related SRs/MAs are low. It is recommended to conduct more high-quality studies in the future to provide more reliable evidences.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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