Acupuncture for infertility: is it an effective therapy?

Acupuncture for infertility: is it an effective therapy?

Dong-mei Huang 1, Guang-ying Huang, Fu-er Lu, Dieterle Stefan, Neuer Andreas, Greb Robert

Affiliations expand

  • PMID: 21611904
  • DOI: 10.1007s11655-011-0611-8 Abstract

Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility extensively, including ovulatory dysfunction, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET), and male infertility. This review summarizes the recent studies which investigated the role of acupuncture in infertility. In conclusion, most of the existing studies suggest a positive effect of acupuncture in infertility treatment. Firstly, acupuncture may improve ovulation by modulating the central and peripheral nervous systems, the neuroendocrine and endocrine systems, the ovarian blood flow, and metabolism. Secondly, acupuncture can improve the outcome of IVF-ET, and the mechanisms may be related to the increased uterine blood flow, inhibited uterine motility, and the anesis of depression, anxiety and stress. Its effect on modulating immune function also suggests helpfulness in improving the outcome of IVF-ET. Finally, the studies suggest that acupuncture plays a positive role in male infertility, the mechanism of which is not yet clear. Even though a positive effect of acupuncture in infertility has been found, well-designed multi-center, prospective randomized controlled studies are still needed to provide more reliable and valid scientific evidence. Furthermore, it is urgent and necessary to clarify the mechanism of acupuncture for infertility.

 [Impacts on pregnancy outcome treated with acupuncture and moxibustion in IVF-ET patients]

[Article in Chinese] Qian Chen, Cuifang Hau

  • PMID: 26054135 Abstract

Objective: To observe the impacts on endometrial and pregnancy outcomes treated with acupuncture and moxibustion in the patients of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) and explore the application value, of acupuncture and moxibustion in IVF-ET treatment.

Methods: One hundred and fourteen patients of IVF-ET treated with standard long-term program at luteal phase were randomized into an observation group and a control group, 57 cases in each one. In the observation group, at the beginning of ovulatory induction, moxibustion was applied to Shenque (CV 8) and acupuncture was to Zhongji (CV 3), Guanyuan (CV 4), Qihai (CV 6), Zigong (EX-CA 1), Xuebai (SP 10), etc. till the transfer time for one session of treatment. Totally, 3 sessions were required. In the control group, no intervention of acupuncture and moxibustion was applied. The endometrial morphology, subendometrial blood flow index, the levels of serum estradiol (E2), progesterone (P) and luteinizing hormone (LH) on the day of injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the dosage and time of gonadotropin (Gn), oocyte count, high-quality embryo number, embryo cultivation rate and clinical pregnant rate were observed in the two groups.

 Results: The A type endometrial proportion on hCG day and high-quality embryo rate in the observation group were higher than those in the control group, indicating the significant differences (both P< 0.05). The difference in endometrial thickness on hCG day was not significant between the two groups (P> 0.05). In the observation group, endometrial hemodynamic index (peak systolic blood velocityend-diastolic blood velocity, SD), resistive index (RI) and pulse index (PI) were lower than those in the control group (P<0. 01, P<0. 05). The levels of serum E2 and P on hCG day in the observation group were higher than those in the control group (both P<0. 05). The differences were not significant in Gn dose, Gn medication time, numbers of follicles >1. 6 cm on hCG day, oocyte count, embryo cultivation rate and clinical pregnancy rate and LH level on hCG day between the two groups (all P>0. 05).

Conclusion: In IVF-ET treatment, acupuncture and moxibustion affect estrogen level on hCG day, improve high-quality embryo rate, endometrial blood flow state and morphology so that the endometrial receptivity is increased and the method is expected to be the assistant therapeutic approach for the improvement of IVF-ET outcome.

 [effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on IVF-ET in patients with decline in ovarian reserve]

[Article in Chinese]

Li Zhou, Youbing Xia, Xiang Ma, Limei Tang, Jing Lu, Qingqing Tang, Yinping Wang

  • PMID: 26946729 Abstract

Objective: To observe the effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on ovarian function and pregnancy results of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in patients with decline in ovarian reserve (DOR).

Methods: A total of 63 patients of DOR who received treatment of IVFintracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were randomly divided into an observation group (30 cases) and a control group (33 cases). The patients in the observation group were treated with “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy”. The syndrome differentiation and treatment were given based on different phases of menstruation. Shiqizhui (EX-B 8) and Mingmen (GV 4) were selected during menstrual phase, Shenshu (BL 23), Geshu (BL 17), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) and Taixi (KI 3) were selected after menstruation, Qihai (CV 6), Guanyuan (CV 4), Zigong (EX-CA 1), Zusanli (ST 36) were selected during ovulatory period, Qihai (CV 6), Guanyuan (CV 4), Yanglingquan (GB 34), Taichong (LR 3) were selected before menstruation. The acupuncture was given twice a week until second menstrual cycle of oocyte retrieval. The total times of acupuncture was (15 ± 2). After acupuncture, patients were treated with IVF-ET. The patients in the control group were treated with IVF-ET but no acupuncture. The indices of ovarian reserve function, including basic follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (E2), antral follicle count (AFC), number of retrieved oocytes, number of fertilization and number of high quality embryo, were compared and analyzed before and after acupuncture in the observation group. The differences of outcomes of IVF-ET, including the cycle cancellation rate, implantation rate, the clinical pregnancy rate, were compared between the two groups.

Results: Compared before acupuncture, the E2, AFC, number of retrieved oocytes, number of high quality embrgo and number of fertilization were all increased after acupuncture in the observation group (all P< 0. 05). Compared with the control group, levels of the E2, the number of retrieved oocytes, number of fertilization and number of high quality embryo were all increased in the observation group (all P < 0.05). Also, the implantation rate, the clinical pregnancy rate were improved (both P < 0.01) and cycle cancellation rate was reduced (P< 0.01).

Conclusion: The “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” can effectively improve the ovarian reserve function in DOR patients, leading to an improved clinical pregnancy rate of IVF-ET.

 [“Thirteen acupoints for regulating menstruation and promoting pregnancy” for diminished ovarian reserve: a prospective cohort study]

[Article in Chinese]

Fu-Xia Yang 1, Zhuo-Xin Yang 1

Affiliations expand

  • PMID: 32538013
  • DOI: 10.13703j.0255-2930.20190925-k0001

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the clinical effect of acupuncture at “thirteen acupoints for regulating menstruation and promoting pregnancy” on diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) and its influence on ovarian reserve function.

Methods: A total of 32 patients with DOR were treated by acupuncture at “thirteen acupoints for regulating menstruation and promoting pregnancy”. Acupoints group 1: Baihui (GV 20), Shenting (GV 24), Benshen (GB 13), Zhongwan (CV 12), Tianshu (ST 25), Guanyuan (CV 4), Zigong (EX-CA 1), Dahe (KI 12), Zusanli (ST 36), Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Taichong (LR 3); acupoints group 2: Baihui (GV 20), Shenshu (BL 23), Ciliao (BL 32). Acupoints group 1 and group 2 were alternately used, and acupoints group 1 was used for the first time. The needles were stayed for 30 min each time, once every 1 or 2 days, 3 times a week, 36 times (3 months) as a course of treatment. The treatment could be continued until the patient was pregnant or the patient given up acupuncture, and the acupuncture was uninterrupted during menstruation. The changes of modified Kupperman scale score, serum sex hormones, anti-müllerian hormones (AMH), ovarian peak systolic velocity (PSV), resistive index (RI) and antral follicle count (AFC) were compared before and after treatment, and the clinical effect and pregnancy rate were observed.

Results: The total score of modified Kupperman scale after treatment was lower than that before treatment (P<0.05); The total effective rate was 90.6% (2932) and the pregnancy rate was 15.6% (532). After treatment, the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), FSH luteinizing hormone (LH) were lower than before treatment, ovarian PSV was higher than before treatment, RI was lower than before treatment, and AFC was more than before treatment (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Acupuncture at “thirteen acupoints for regulating menstruation and promoting pregnancy” can effectively improve the ovarian reserve function of DOR patients.

Keywords: acupuncture; diminished ovarian reserve; modified Kupperman scale; thirteen acupoints for regulating menstruation and promoting pregnancy.


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