Patients undergoing IVF experience high levels of IVF-related state anxiety. Non-pharmacological interventions such as acupuncture may provide support, but its effect on IVF-related anxiety is unclear. This was a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of acupuncture on IVF-related state anxiety.
The primary outcome was state anxiety after embryo transfer or oocyte retrieval as assessed by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Hamilton Anxiety Scale, visual analogue scale or Standard Form 36. Eight trials with 2253 participants were reviewed, and 1785 participants completed an anxiety assessment. Using the random effects model, the meta-analysis found small but significant effects on state anxiety with acupuncture versus any control (standardized mean difference -0.21, 95% confidence interval -0.39 to -0.04, representing very low certainty evidence).
Evidence was limited by the moderate number of included studies of an intermediate median sample size (n = 191). Acupuncture is a drug-free and safe treatment that may benefit those who are burdened with IVF-related anxiety.