Pacific Wellness Institute Clinic: Bloor-Yorkville Toronto

Treatment of infertility by acupuncture and breathing exercise: Part 7 pregnancy rate using acupuncture

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Treatment of Infertility by Acupuncture According to Circalunar and Cardiac Variability Rhythms

Tim H. Tanaka, Ph.D. Director, The Pacific Wellness Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Visiting Research Fellow, School of Health Sciences, Tsukuba University of Technology, Japan

A part of this paper was presented at WFAS International Acupuncture Congress, cosponsored by World Health Organization, in Beijing, China, Oct. 2007.

Page updated on January 31, 2008

Regarding pregnancy rate using acupuncture

Computing ‘success rate’ for infertility is not as simple as using the mathematical formula: X (total number of pregnancy) divided by Y (total number of patients). There are a number of methodological difficulties regarding success rate statistics and no standardized guideline exists to calculate the success rate of acupuncture for infertility cases.  Some of the issues and variables to consider when calculating statistics are as follows:

Infertility success rate largely depends on the sample population.  Infertility is caused by a variety of factors and it is well known that fertility rates vary significantly depending on factors such as age and co-existing medical conditions. Also, it is necessary that separate statistics be produced for patients who conceived naturally with acupuncture and for patients who underwent assisted reproductive technologies (ART) or any other medical fertility treatment in conjunction with acupuncture. Other important factors are how dropout cases are counted and determination methods of ‘pregnancy’ (i.e. blood test, US, carry to term, etc.). Lastly, statistics derived from an insufficient number of cases in each group contain a large margin of error. These are just a few examples of methodological difficulties regarding success rate statistics.

Thus, although we do monitor outcomes of our patients and occasionally conduct preliminary analysis for our own critical evaluation and professional education purposes, we do not make ‘success rate’ available to the public due to obvious ethical concerns. Statistics can be easily manipulated and success rate can vary greatly depending on the sample population, criteria and rules used when calculating the statistics.

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