In a recent randomized clinical trial, researchers recruited 1,000 Chinese women with polycystic ovary syndrome to determine if acupuncture alone or combined with clomiphene increases the likelihood of live births in these women. Polycystic ovary syndrome is when a woman's hormones are out of balance, causing problems with their periods and making it difficult to get pregnant. Over time, PCOS can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.
The researchers found that the live birth rate was significantly higher in the group of women who received clomiphene compared with placebo (28.7% vs 15.4%). However, there was no significant difference between the women who received active vs control acupuncture (21.8% vs 22.4%). The overall findings were that acupuncture alone or with clomiphene was not effective as an infertility treatment in Chinese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Because it didn't increase live births, the finding does not support acupuncture as an infertility treatment in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.