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Enhancing Fertity with Oriental Medicine

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  • Western Medical Clinics in our area:

    Chinese Medical Clinics & Practitioners With Special Interest in Fertility:

    Research: An overview of Infertility Research in Acupuncture:
    The following research papers show strong evidence regarding the use of acupuncture for fertility enhancement, but it is only part of the story.
    We want not only a positive pregnancy outcome, but are committed to promoting a healthy pregnancy, carried to full term, giving birth to a beautiful and healthy child. To have the best chance to achieve a healthy pregnancy requires a comprehensive approach to your health. We cannot overemphasize how important your overall health is for giving your baby the best chance at having a healthy and happy life.

    • Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial:: Westergaard LG, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006 Apr 4;
      This is a recent study demonstrating that acupuncture increases ongoing pregnancies when compared to control subjects.
    • Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and
      intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study.: Dieterle S, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006 Apr 7;
      This study examined 225 IVF/ICSI patients. The group that received true acupuncture showed significant improvements in ongoing pregnancies compared to subjects that received a sham acupuncture treatment.
    • Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women
      undergoing embryo transfer: Smith C, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006, Apr 4;
      This study examined 228 IVF patients. The group that received true acupuncture showed improvements in ongoing pregnancies of over 50% compared to subjects that received a sham acupuncture treatment. This is very clinically significant, though it did not rise to the level of statistical significance.
    • Positive effects of acupuncture in ART are not mediated by changes in ovarian and endometrial production of estradiol, progesterone, and placental protein 14: Westergaard LG, et.al. Fertility and Sterility 2006 Apr 4;
      This is a discussion of the use of acupuncture in IVF relative to the
      authors' most recent study. Though they are not exactly sure how it is working, the authors state: "The present data corroborate previous studies demonstrating a significant beneficial effect of acupuncture in IVF" .
    • Influence of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy: Paulus, et.al. Fertility and Sterility Vol: 77, No. 4, April 2002
      This landmark study demonstrated that women undergoing acupuncture treatments with a specific acupoint protocol had an increase in ongoing pregnancy rates, compared to control subjects that did not receive acupuncture.
    • A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Cross-Over Study Evaluating Acupuncture as an Adjunct to In-Vitro Fertilization: Quintero et.al. Fertility and Sterility Vol: 81, Supplement 3, April, 2004
      This pilot study examined prior IVF failures where researchers used a completely different acupuncture protocol. Among the outcomes of the study researchers found an apprciable increase in implantation rates, an increase in ongoing pregnancies, and a significant reduction in the amount of gonadotrophins used.
    • Acupuncture & IVF poor responders: a cure?: Magarelli et.al. Fertility and Sterility Vol: 81, Supplement 3, April, 2004
      This retrospective study found a 39% increase in IVF pregnancy rates with a modified protocol. This study examined both poor responders and good responders. Poor responders that received acupuncture had the same pregnancy rates as normal prognosis patients. In this study, poor responders were defined as those with elevated Peak FSH, longer history of infertility or poor sperm morphology. When poor responders were excluded, the increase in pregnancies went up to 42%. The acupuncture group had significantly lower miscarriages, no ectopic pregnancies and significantly greater live births than the non-acupuncture group.
    • A matched controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture for improving pregnancy rates following in-vitro fertilization - embryo
      transfer. Wang et al. Fertility and Sterility Vol: 83, issue 5,
      Supplement, May 2005
      This study further demonstrates the importance of proper acupoint
      selection and proper administration of acupuncture protocols. The
      point protocol in this study varied greatly from previous studies that demonstrated positive pregnancy outcomes. This particular acupoint selection did not produce any increases in pregnancy rates.
    • Ovarian blood flow responses to electro-acupuncture stimulation at
      different frequencies and intensities in anaesthetized rats:
      Stener-Victorin et.al. Auton Neurosci. 2003 Oct 31;108(1-2):50-6.
      This study demonstrated that acupuncture can significantly increase or decrease ovarian blood flow, depending on how the protocol is applied. This is an important warning that improper application of acupuncture could hinder an IVF cycle.
    • Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility: Gerhard
      et.al. Gynecol Endocrinol 1992 Sep;6(3):171-81
      This study compared acupuncture to standard hormone therapy in the treatment of infertility. For women with menstrual irregularities (a subgroup of the patients in the study), acupuncture increased
      pregnancies by 28% over hormone therapy. There were no side effects in the acupuncture group but there were in the hormone group. Taking all women in the study into account, combined acupuncture and hormone therapy achieved the best results, producing 10% more pregnancies than hormone therapy alone.
    • Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile
      women with electro-acupuncture: Stener-Victorin et.al. Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7
      Successful in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer require
      optimal endometrial receptivity at the time of implantation. The
      amount of blood flow to the uterus is considered valuable in assessing endometrial receptivity. This study showed that an eight treatment protocol was able to significantly increase blood flow to the uterus and may explain one mechanism for the substantial increases in pregnancies when acupuncture is properly incorporated into an IVF cycle.
    • Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of
      ovulation: Mo et.al. J Tradit Chin Med 1993 Jun;13(2):115-9
      This study examined the effects of acupuncture on stimulating
      ovulation and regulating ovulatory problems. The researchers concluded that acupuncture seems to increase progesterone levels and regulate FSH, LH and E2 levels. This study involved 30 acupuncture treatments and had an 82% effective rate.
    • Effect of electro-acupuncture on ovarian expression of alpha (1)- and beta (2)-adrenoceptors, and p75 neurotrophin receptors in rats with steroid-induced polycystic ovaries. Stener-Victorin E. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2005 Jun 7;3(1):21.
      This study showed that acupuncture induced a more normalized response to estradiol in PCO rats.
    • Acupuncture for treatment of climacteric syndrome--a report of 35
      cases.Shen X. et. al. J Tradit Chin Med. 2005 Mar;25(1):3-6.
      In this study acupuncture was found to elevate abnormally low
      estradiol levels and to lower abnormally elevated FSH and LH levels due to climacteric syndrome.
    • Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from
      subfertility related to low sperm quality: Siterman et.al. Arch Androl,
      39(2):155-61 1997 Sep-Oct
      This study demonstrated that acupuncture can increase both sperm quality and quantity.
    • Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen
      abnormalities. Gurfinkel et.al. Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8
      This study showed that men receiving acupuncture had significant
      increases in the percentage of normal-form sperm relative to controls.
    • Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Pei J. et. al. Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7.
      Another study demonstrating improvements in sperm quality after the administration of acupuncture.

    Recommended Books and Audio:

    • The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies
      By Dr. Randine Lewis, Ph.D.
    • Fertility Wisdom: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Overcome Infertility
      By Angela Wu, Katherine Anttila, Betsy Brown
    • Help for Infertility – Health Journeys
      By Belleruth Naparstek
      Audio: Guided Imagery
    • Meditations for a Fertile Soul
      By Dr. Randine Lewis, Ph.D.
      Audio: Guided Imagery