Acupuncture for threatened miscarriage

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Mar 22;12(1):20. [Epub ahead of print]
Acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment option for threatened miscarriage.
Betts D, Smith CA, Hannah DG.
Abstract
ABSTRACT:
BACKGROUND:
Threatened miscarriage involves vaginal bleeding in a pregnancy that remains viable. This is a common early pregnancy complication with increased risk factors for early pregnancy loss, preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), preterm delivery, low birth weight babies and maternal antepartum haemorrhage. Currently there are no recommended medical treatment options, rather women receive advice that centres on a ‘wait and see’ approach. For women with a history of unexplained recurrent miscarriage providing supportive care in a subsequent pregnancy improves live birthing outcomes, but the provision of supportive care to women experiencing threatened miscarriage has to date not been examined.
DISCUSSION:
While it is known that 50-70 % of miscarriages occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, the potential for therapeutic intervention amongst the remaining percentage of women remains unknown. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies have the potential to provide supportive care for women presenting with threatened miscarriage. Within fertility research, acupuncture demonstrates beneficial hormonal responses with decreased miscarriage rates, raising the possibility acupuncture may promote specific beneficial effects in early pregnancy. With the lack of current medical options for women presenting with threatened miscarriage it is timely to examine the possible treatment benefits of providing CAM therapies such as acupuncture.
SUMMARY:
Despite vaginal bleeding being a common complication of early pregnancy there is often reluctance from practitioners to discuss with women and medical personal how and why CAM may be beneficial. In this debate article, the physiological processes of early pregnancy together with the concept of providing supportive care and acupuncture are examined. The aim is to raise awareness and promote discussion as to the beneficial role CAM may have for women presenting with threatened miscarriage

TCM herbs and miscarriage

herbs-miscarriage-acupunctureThis study confirmed Chinese herbal medicines can reduce the risk of miscarriage in the early weeks of pregnancy. Two days after embryo transfer a group of women was administered a Chinese herbal formula renown to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Control group were not administered any hers. But both groups were on progesterone support treatment.

Researchers found, that there was a significant reduction of miscarriages in the group taking Chinese herbal medicine. 23% of women in the progesterone only group miscarried, while in the Chinese herbs group this number was significantly lower – 13%.

The study was published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Chin J Integr Med. 2006 Sep;12(3):189-93.
Effect of Gutai Decoction on the abortion [miscarriage] rate of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.
Liu Y1, Wu JZ.
Author information
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To study the effect of Chinese herbal medicine Gutai Decoction (GTD) on the abortion rate of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET).

METHODS:
Observed were two hundred and forty-seven women having received IVF-ET and with beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-HCG) > 25 IU/L on the 14th day after transferring. All were treated conventionally with progesterone 20 – 80 mg per day after transferring and if necessary the treatment was supplemented with Progynova 2 – 4 mg per day, with the medication withdrawn gradually from the 9th week of pregnancy till stopped completely. Among them 131 cases received GTD medication additionally, for 109 cases of whom the medication started from the 2nd day of transferring (taken as Group A) and for the other 22 cases from the 14th day after transferring (taken as Group B), the other 116 cases with no additional GTD treatment given were taken as the control group, with the medication lasting to the 12th week. The abortion rate in them was observed.

RESULTS:
The abortion rate in Group A, Group B and the control group was 12.84%, 13.64% and 23.28%, respectively, the difference between the GTD treated groups and the control group was significant (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Chinese medicine GTD could reduce abortion rate in women receiving IVF-ET. PMID: 17005079 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]