Acupuncture more effective than clomophene in treatment of pcos

clomophene pcos acupunctureThis study by Beijing Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology has shown acupuncture to be superior to clomophene on ovulation and pregnancy rates in treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Other studies have shown that unlike Clomophene, acupuncture can have long term effect on PCOS by reducing the sympathetic nervous tonus. Apart from study methodology issues, another limitation of this study is that it only looked into the short term effect, but didn’t evaluate the effectiveness over a longer term. However, this is another study adding to the body of evidence. The study was published in the journal of Zhongguo Zhen jiu (Chinese Journal of Acupuncture & Moxibustion [2013, 33(11):961-964]).

Efficacy and safety evaluation of acupuncture combined with auricular acupoint therapy in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome

Department of Acupuncture and Physical Therapy, Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100026, China. geyongchun1981@sina.com
Zhongguo Zhen jiu = Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion [2013, 33(11):961-964]
Type: Journal Article, English Abstract (lang: chi)

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy differences between acupuncture combined with auricular acupoint therapy and clomiphene oral administration in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

METHODS: One hundred cases of PCOS were randomized into two groups, 50 cases in each one. Acupuncture combined with auricular acupuncture group (group A): acupuncture was applied at Guanyuan (CV 4), Zhongji (CV 3) and Zigong (EX-CA 1), once daily; auricular point sticking was applied at Spleen (pi, CO13), Endocrine (neifenmi, CO18), Uterus and Kidney (shen, CO10), the plaster was changed once a week. Clomiphene group (group B): oral clomiphene was prescribed at the 5th day of the menstrual, for 5 consecutive days, totally 3 menstrual cycles was needed. The ovulation induction, pregnancy and menstruation resuming of patients in the two ‘ , The totally effective rate was 90.00% (45/50) in group A, which was group were observed and compared.

RESULTS: The totally effective rate was 90.0% (45/50) in group A, which was superior to 86.0% (43/50) in group B (P<0.05); the ovulation rate and pregnancy rate were 68.0% (34/50)and 64. 0% (32/50) in group A, which were superior to that of group B (all P<0. 05); the menstruation resuming rate was 94.00 (47/50) in group A, which was superior to 88.00 (44/50) in group B (P<0.05). No adverse effect was observed in group A, while in group B, varying degrees of nausea, vomiting, headache and dermatitis were observed in 29 cases, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) like polycystic ovary was observed in 14 cases under the B ultrasound. CONCLUSION: Acupuncture combined with auricular acupoint therapy has a better effect than clomiphene in the treatment of PCOS without any adverse effects.

PCOS Acupuncture: the most comprehensive paper to date?

pcos-acupuncture-effectA very thourough, well refferenced study exploring the mechanism and effects of acupuncture on PCOS.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 762615.
Published online Sep 2, 2013. doi: 10.1155/2013/762615
PMCID: PMC3773899
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Effect and Mechanisms of Acupuncture for Ovulation Induction
Julia Johansson 1 and Elisabet Stener-Victorin 1 , 2 ,*
Author information ? Article notes ? Copyright and License information ?
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age, is characterized by the coexistence of hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries (PCO). PCOS also represents the largest part of female oligoovulatory infertility, and the management of ovulatory and menstrual dysfunction, comprises a third of the high costs of PCOS treatment. Current pharmacological and surgical treatments for reproductive symptoms are effective, however, associated with negative side effects, such as cardiovascular complications and multiple pregnancies. For menstrual irregularities and ovulation induction in women with PCOS, acupuncture has indicated beneficial effects. This review will focus on the results from randomized controlled acupuncture trials for regulation of menstrual dysfunction and for inducing ovulation in women with PCOS although there are uncontrolled trials with nonetheless interesting results. Animal experimental studies will be further discussed when they can provide a more mechanistic explanatory view.
Read more

Acupuncture superior to Metformin for PCOS

acupuncture-pcosAcupuncture showed considerable advantages over the metformin for obese PCOS patients. Acupuncture was shown to be more effective then metformin at improving menstrual freqency, reducing body mass index and waist to hip ratio. It also had fewer side-effects.

Effectiveness of Abdominal Acupuncture for Patients with Obesity-Type Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
To cite this article:
Yan-Hua Zheng, Xin-Hua Wang, Mao-Hua Lai, Hong Yao, Hua Liu, and Hong-Xia Ma. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/acm.2012.0429.

Online Ahead of Print: May 15, 2013 Read more

Acupuncture plus IVF = 5-fold increase in pregnancy rates (after two or more failed IVF cycles)

acupuncture-in-medicine-bmj

This study shows that there is a significant benefit to integrate acupuncture with IVF treatment for patients with two or more failed IVF cycles. It is one of the few studies using sham acupuncture to ensure that the effect of acupuncture is real, not just a placebo. The study was published in a reputable, pier-reviewed journal Acupuncture in Medicine, BMJ journals.

Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial.
IVF and acupuncture
Isoyama Manca di Villahermosa D, Dos Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP.
Source
Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Clinic for Human Reproduction, , Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) when embryo implantation has failed.
METHODS:
A prospective, randomised controlled clinical trial was conducted with 84 infertile patients who had had at least two unsuccessful attempts of IVF. The patients were randomised in three groups: control (n=28), sham (n=28) and acupuncture (n=28). The sample size was calculated by assuming a pregnancy rate of 10% when embryo implantation had failed. The pregnancy rates of the current IVF cycle were evaluated by measurement of blood beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta hCG) and subsequent transvaginal ultrasound. Acupuncture was performed on the first and seventh day of ovulation induction, on the day before ovarian puncture and on the day after embryo transfer. In the acupuncture group, patients were treated with moxibustion at nine acupuncture points (BL18, BL22, BL23, BL52, CV3, CV4, CV5, CV7, GV4) and needling at 12 points. In the sham group needles were inserted in eight areas that did not correspond to known acupuncture points.
RESULTS:
The clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7% vs 7.1% vs 10.7%; p=0.0169).

CONCLUSIONS:
In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in treatment of Endometriosis

This study demonstrates that acupuncture has a synergystic effect with Chinese Herbal medicine in treatment of Endometriosis. Furthermore the effect of acupuncture and herbal medicine was found to be superior to a pharmaceutical medicine Danazol. The abstract of the study is below.
Acupuncture Chinese medicine Endometriosis

Acupuncture enhances the effects of Chinese herbal Medicine in treatment of Endometriosis

J. Shi, Z. B. Z. Ge*
, Y. Jin,Y. D. Li and J. Zhou** The 1st Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310003, Zhejiang, China
*Sir Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310016, Zhejiang, China
**College of Food Science and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310012, China. Corresponding Author Email: juezhou2006@yahoo.com.cn

ABSTRACT

The present study was aimed to investigate whether acupuncture could significantly enhance the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in treating endometriosis model rats. A total of 40 female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats with body weight of 200 ±20 g were included. Operational transplantation was used with animal models. The rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: sham-operation control group (Group A), model group (Group B), CHM combined with acupuncture group (Group C), CHM group (Group D), Danazol group (Group E) with 8 rats in each group. During the treatment, two rats in Group B and one rat in Group E passed away. When the treatment ended, all the left rats were sacrificed. The samples of peritoneal fluids, serum and the ectopic endometrium were taken. The serum levels of cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) and interleukin 18(IL-18) in the peritoneal fluids were detected using enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay. The cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA expression levels in the ectopic endometrium were measured by Real-time PCR. The results showed that in the rats from Groups A, C, D and E, the serum CA-125 levels, COX-2 mRNA expression in the ectopic endometrium and the IL-18 levels in the peritoneal fluids were significantly lower than those of Group B (P<0.05). The serum CA-125 levels and COX-2 mRNA expression in the ectopic endometrium of the rats in Group C were significantly lower than those of Group D (P<0.05), while there was no significant difference between Group C and E (P>0.05). The levels of IL-18 in the peritoneal fluids of the rats in Group C were markedly lower than those of Group D and E (P<0.05). It is then concluded that acupuncture treatment can improve the effects of CHM in treating endometriosis model rats. Key words: Chinese herbal medicine acupuncture; endometriosis Reference: The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 23(1): 2013, Page: 298-303 ISSN: 1018-7081

You can find a copy of the study here.

Study: Herbal formula helps oligoasthenospermia

Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2012 Dec;18(12):1105-7.
[Compound Xuanju Capsule combined with vitamin E improves sperm chromatin integrity].
[Article in Chinese]
Song B1, He XJ, Jiang HH, Peng YW, Wu H, Cao YX.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To investigate the clinical effects of the combined therapy of the Chinese medicine Compound Xuanju Capsule and vitamin E on sperm chromatin damage in idiopathic oligoasthenospermia.

METHODS:
We assigned 50 infertile men with seminal abnormality to a control group (n = 26) and a trial group (n = 24) to receive vitamin E and the combined therapy of Compound Xuanju Capsule plus vitamin E, respectively, both treated for 3 months. Before and after the treatment, we detected semen routine parameters and sperm DNA fragmentation indexes (DFI) by computer aided semen analysis (CASA) and sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA), and compared them between the two groups.

RESULTS:
There was no obvious difference between the percentage of progressively motile sperm in the trial group and that in the control group (21.55 +/- 8.68 vs 21.47 +/- 11.53, P > 0.05). The trial group showed a significantly decreased sperm DFI after medication as compared with pre-medication (29.57 +/- 12.19 vs 34.09 +/- 10.32, P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: The combined therapy of Compound Xuanju Capsule and vitamin E can effectively improve seminal quality and reduce sperm chromatin damage in infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenospermia. PMID: 23405792 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Acupuncture during ovarian stimulation improves pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF

This systematic review on Acupuncture and IVF is especially interesting. The studies of the well researched German protocol show acupuncture to be effective on the day of embryo replacement. This systematic review shows that acupuncture during ovarian stimulation also plays significant role in increasing the pregnancy outcomes of IVF.


The role of acupuncture in assisted reproductive technology.
Zheng CH, Zhang MM, Huang GY, Wang W.

Abstract
The aim of this paper was to provide reliable evidence by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis for evaluating the role of acupuncture in assisted reproductive technology. All randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of acupuncture, including manual, electrical, and laser acupuncture (LA) techniques, on the clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and live birth rate (LBR) of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or artificial insemination were included. The controlled groups consisted of no acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups. The sham acupuncture included sham acupuncture at acupoints, sham acupuncture at non- or inappropriate points, sham LA, and adhesive tapes. Twenty-three trials (a total of 5598 participants) were included in this paper. The pooled CPR from all acupuncture groups was significantly higher than that from all controlled groups, whereas the LBR was not significantly different between the two groups. However, the results were quite distinct when the type of control and/or different acupuncture times were examined in a sensitivity analysis. The results mainly indicate that acupuncture, especially around the time of the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, improves pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF. More positive effects from acupuncture in IVF can be expected if a more individualized acupuncture programs are used.

Full text of the study can be found here.

Uterine blood flow and complications in pregnancy in women aged 35+

Advanced maternal age and increased risk of hypertensive disorders, a small-for-gestational-age infant and gestational diabetes? This study shows that it is all about the blood flow, not about age.

Early uterine artery Doppler velocimetry and the outcome of pregnancy in women aged 35 years and older

H. J. van den Elzen1, T. E. Cohen-Overbeek1, D. E. Grobbee2, R. W. P. Quartero1, Professor J. W. Wladimiroff1,*
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2003

DOI: 10.1046/j.1469-0705.1995.05050328.x

Keywords:
uterine artery;Doppler;pregnancy outcome;advanced age
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to determine whether first-and second-trimester uterine artery Doppler velocimetry are associated with pregnancy complications in women of advanced maternal age. A prospective cohort study of 352 women aged 35 years and older was studied. The pulsatility index (PI) values at 12–13 weeks of gestation were significantly associated with development of hypertensive disorders, a small-for-gestational-age infant and gestational diabetes, with a relative risk exceeding 4, 2 and 8, respectively for women with PI values in the highest quartile (> 1.67) of the PI distribution when compared with the lowest quartile of the PI distribution (< 1.24). At 23–27 weeks' gestation, uterine artery PI values were found to be associated with preterm delivery with a gestational age-adjusted risk of 10.6 for women with PI values in the highest quartile of PI (> 1.24) when compared with PI values in the lowest quartile of the PI distribution (< 1.09). No associations existed between uterine artery PI, antepartum hemorrhage and Cesarean section rate. The risk estimates for any of the outcome parameters were not affected by maternal age. Results indicate that hemodynamic changes detectable in the uterine artery as early as the first trimester of pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of hypertensive disorders, a small-for-gestational-age infant and gestational diabetes. A similar association exists in the late second trimester of pregnancy, with an increased risk of preterm delivery.

IUI plus Acupuncture = higher success rate

iui-acupuncture-european-journal
Acupuncture and herbs increased IUI success rate from 39.4% to 65.5% in this study. The difference in the success rates is even more interesting, considering that the control group, who didn’t receive acupuncture was on average 2.3 years younger. The control group was 37.1 years old and the treatment group was 39.4. Normally, you’d expect much lower pregnancy rates in 39 year olds.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment for women undergoing intrauterine insemination
Keren Sela, Ofer Lehavi, Amnon Buchan, Karin Kedar-Shalema, Haim Yavetz, Shahar Lev-ari

Unit of Complementary Medicine, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Affiliated to the Sackler Faculty of Medicine,

Tel Aviv University, 6 Weizmann St., Tel Aviv 64239, Israel

Fertility Research Institute, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Affiliated to the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Aim: To assess the effect of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM, acupuncture and medicinal herbs) as a therapeutic adjuvant to ovulation induction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures and evaluate its contribution to pregnancy and “take-home baby” rates.

Materials and methods: A comparative retrospective study was carried out in a university – affiliated municipal hospital. All women undergoing artificial insemination by donor spermatozoa (AID) and concomitantly treated with TCM were invited to participate. The enrolled women underwent weekly TCM in parallel with medical therapy. The treatment lasted between 2 and 36 cycles (equivalent to a time period ranging from one month to one year). The control group was comprised of women who underwent AID without TCM and whose data were retrospectively retrieved from hospital files. Pregnancy was assessed by human chorionic gonadotropin findings in blood 12–14 days after IUI. The birth rate was calculated during follow-up.

Results: A total of 29 women aged 30–45 years were enrolled in the study. The historical control group included 94 women aged 28–46 years.

Results over an average 4-5 months cumulative period:
1. Acupuncture and herbs plus IUI; average age 39.43 years
2. Control group – IUI (DI) only; average age 37.12 years

Women who combined TCM with the procedures for undergoing IUI had significantly higher pregnancy (OR = 4.403, 95% CI 1.51–12.835,
p = 0.007) and birth rates (OR = 3.905, 95% CI 1.321–11.549, p = 0.014) than the control group.

Conclusions: TCM appears to be beneficial as an adjunctive treatment in IUI procedures. Randomized controlled trials are needed to further assess the role of acupuncture and herbs in this setting.

Full text of the study here: Acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment for IUI

Herbs for semen non-liquefaction

This study shows that Chinese herbs are helpful for semen non-liquefaction. Shengjing Tablets used in this study include nine TCM/herbal ingredients.

Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2012 Jun;18(6):568-70.
[Shengjing tablets for semen non-liquefaction: a clinical study of 100 cases].
[Article in Chinese]
Yang XF, Guo LH, An LH, Pan ZH, Sun L, Ma K.
Source
Department of Andrology, The Third Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan, Zhengzhou 450052, China. xfyang97045@yahoo.com.cn
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To investigate the efficacy and action mechanism of Shengjing Tablets in the treatment liquefaction.
METHODS:
We randomly assigned 150 patients with semen non-liquefaction to receive Shengjing Tablets group, n = 100) and vitamin E capsules (control group, n = 50) for 2 courses of 45 days each, followed by observation liquefaction time and other semen parameters.
RESULTS:
After the first course, 68 of the patients in the treatment group 20 responded and 12 failed to respond; and after the second course, 84 were cured, 9 responded and 7 failed to respond, effective rate of 93.0%. In comparison, only 8 of the controls were cured, 8 responded and 34 failed to respond after medication. There were statistically significant differences between the two groups (P < 0.01). Meanwhile, the treatment showed obvious improvement in sperm motility and concentration. CONCLUSION: Shengjing Tablets may shorten the time liquefaction, and can be used as a safe and effective therapy for semen non-liquefaction.

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

Electro-acupuncture enhances sperm motility in rats

sperm-fertility-acupuncture-spermatogenesis
This study published in journal of Spermatogenesis contributes to understanding of how acupuncture improves sperm parameters. The researchers found that acupuncture improved Sertoli cell functions. This has enhanced germ cell proliferation. The result is improved motile sperm count. The study design could not evaluate other sperm parameters.

Spermatogenesis. 2012 Jan 1;2(1):53-62.
Electroacupuncture enhances spermatogenesis in rats after scrotal heat treatment.
Gao J, Zuo Y, So KH, Yeung WS, Ng EH, Lee KF.
Abstract
Spermatogenesis is regulated by a cascade of steroid regulated genes in the testis. Recent studies suggested that acupuncture may improve fertility in men with abnormal semen parameters. Yet, the underlying mechanisms in which acupuncture enhances spermatogenesis remain largely unknown. Here we used a scrotal heat-treated rat model to study the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on recovery of spermatogenesis. In this model, spermatogenesis was disrupted by 30 min scrotal heat treatment at 43°C. Ten sessions of EA were given at Baihui (GV20), Guanyuan (CV4), Zusanli (ST36) and Sanyinjiao (SP6) from day 9 to day 36 post-treatment. Sperm motility and production, morphology of the germinal epithelium by Johnsen’s scoring, germ cell apoptosis by TUNEL staining, proliferation by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining, as well as serum testosterone and inhibin B levels by immunoassays were evaluated on day 0, 1, 9, 25, 37, 46, 56 and 79. When compared with the heat-treated (H) group, the heat-treated plus EA (H(+)EA) group showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in PCNA-positive cells and inhibin B levels on days 37 and 46, and a higher Johnsen's score till day 56. On day 79, motile spermatozoa could be found in the vas deferens of H(+)EA group only. Consistently, there was a trend of improved motility and increased number of motile epididymal spermatozoa in the H(+)EA group than the H group; while apoptosis of germ cells and serum testosterone levels were similar between the two groups. Taken together, EA enhanced germ cell proliferation through improvement of Sertoli cell functions. This may facilitate the recovery of spermatogenesis and may restore normal semen parameters in subfertile patients.

Acupuncture improves menstrual frequency and decreases androgens in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Electrical and manual acupuncture stimulation affects estrous cyclicity and neuroendocrine function in a DHT-induced rat polycystic ovary syndrome model

Yi Feng1,2, Julia Johansson1, Ruijin Shao1, Louise Mannerås Holm1, Håkan Billig1, Elisabet Stener-Victorin1,3
DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2011.063131

Abstract? Both low-frequency electro-acupuncture (EA) and manual acupuncture improve menstrual frequency and decrease circulating androgens in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We sought to determine whether low-frequency EA is more effective than manual stimulation in regulating disturbed estrous cyclicity in rats with PCOS induced by 5?-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). To identify the central mechanisms of the effects of stimulation, we assessed hypothalamic mRNA expression of molecules that regulate reproductive and neuroendocrine function. From age 70 days, rats received 2-Hz EA or manual stimulation of the needles five times/week for 4–5 weeks; untreated rats served as controls. Specific hypothalamic nuclei were obtained by laser microdissection, and mRNA expression was measured with TaqMan low-density arrays. Untreated rats were acyclic. During the last 2 weeks of treatment, seven of eight (88%) rats in the EA group had epithelial keratinocytes, demonstrating estrous cycle change (p= 0.034 vs. controls). In the manual group, five of eight (62%) rats had estrous cycle changes (ns vs. controls). mRNA expression of the opioid receptors Oprk1 and Oprm1 in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus was lower in the EA group than in untreated controls. mRNA expression of the steroid hormone receptors Esr2, Pgr, and Kiss1r was lower in the manual group than in the controls. In rats with DHT-induced PCOS, low-frequency EA restored disturbed estrous cyclicity but did not differ from manual stimulation group, although electrical stimulation lowered serum testosterone in responders, those with restored estrus cyclicity, and differed from both controls and the manual stimulation group. Thus, EA cannot in all aspects be considered superior to manual stimulation. The effects of low-frequency EA may be mediated by central opioid receptors, while manual stimulation may involve regulation of steroid hormone/peptide receptors.

New systematic review: Acupuncture improves Clinical Pregnancy Rates and Live Birth Rates among women undergoing IVF

Fertil Steril. 2012 Jan 11

Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Zheng CH, Huang GY, Zhang MM, Wang W.
Source
Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes.
DESIGN:
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
PATIENT(S):
Women undergoing IVF in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) who were evaluated for the effects of acupuncture on IVF outcomes.
SETTING:
Not applicable.
INTERVENTION(S):
The intervention groups used manual, electrical, and laser acupuncture techniques. The control groups consisted of no, sham, and placebo acupuncture.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):
The major outcomes were clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and live birth rate (LBR). Heterogeneity of the therapeutic effect was evaluated with a forest plot analysis. Publication bias was assessed by a funnel plot analysis.
RESULT(S):
Twenty-four trials (a total of 5,807 participants) were included in this review. There were no significant publication biases for most of the comparisons among these studies. The pooled CPR (23 studies) from all of the acupuncture groups was significantly greater than that from all of the control groups, whereas the LBR (6 studies) was not significantly different between the two groups. The results were different when the type of control was examined in a sensitivity analysis. The CPR and LBR differences between the acupuncture and control groups were more obvious when the studies using the Streitberger control were ignored. Similarly, if the underlying effects of the Streitberger control were excluded, the LBR results tended to be significant when the acupuncture was performed around the time of oocyte aspiration or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
CONCLUSION(S):
Acupuncture improves CPR and LBR among women undergoing IVF based on the results of studies that do not include the Streitberger control. The Streitberger control may not be an inactive control. More positive effects from using acupuncture in IVF can be expected if an appropriate control and more reasonable acupuncture programs are used.

Electro acupuncture improves IVF success rate

fertility and sterility acupunctureAcupuncture improves clinical pregnancy, implantation rate and live birth rate of IVF embryo transfer. The researchers used Transcutaneous electro acupuncture in this study. Transcutaneous electrostimulation is another way to stimulate acupuncture points. And needles are not necessary!

As you can see from the abstract below, clinical pregnancy rate, implantation rate, and live birth rate all improved in the acupuncture group. With pregnancy rate improving from 29.3% to 50%, implantation rate increasing from 15.0% to 25.9% and live birth dramatically increasing from 21.2% to 42.0%.

The study was published in Fertility and Sterility in 2011.

Fertil Steril. 2011 Oct;96(4):912-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.07.1093. Epub 2011 Sep 8.
Increase of success rate for women undergoing embryo transfer by transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study.

Author information
Zhang R1, Feng XJ, Guan Q, Cui W, Zheng Y, Sun W, Han JS.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effect of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation (TEAS) on pregnancy rates (PR) in women undergoing ET.

DESIGN:
Prospective, randomized, single-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial.

SETTING:
Research and laboratory facilities.

PATIENT(S):
A total of 309 patients, less than 45 years old, undergoing cryopreservation embryos transplant or fresh cycle IVF with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

INTERVENTION(S):
The subjects were randomly allocated to three groups: mock TEAS treatment: 30 minutes after ET (group I, n = 99); single TEAS treatment: 30 minutes after ET (group II, n = 110); and double TEAS treatments: 24 hours before ET and 30 minutes after ET (group III, n = 100).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):
Clinical PR, embryos implantation rate, live birth rate.

RESULT(S):
The clinical PR, embryos implantation rate, and live birth rate of group I (29.3%, 15.0%, and 21.2%, respectively) were significantly lower than those in group II (42.7%, 25.7%, and 37.3%, respectively) and group III (50.0%, 25.9%, and 42.0%, respectively).

CONCLUSION(S):
Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, especially double TEAS, significantly improved the clinical outcome of ET.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21862001

Acupuncture for reduction of infertility related stress

The Effect of Acupuncture on Psychosocial Outcomes for Women Experiencing Infertility: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
To cite this article:
Caroline A. Smith, Jane M. Ussher, Janette Perz, Bridget Carmady and ,Sheryl de Lacey. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0380.
Online Ahead of Print: October 6, 2011

Caroline A. Smith, PhD,1
Jane M. Ussher, PhD,2
Janette Perz, PhD,2
Bridget Carmady, BNat,1 and
Sheryl de Lacey, PhD3
1Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, The University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
2Health Services and Outcomes Research Group, The University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
3School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University, Flinders, Australia.
Address correspondence to:
Caroline A. Smith, PhD
Centre for Complementary Medicine Research
The University of Western Sydney
Penrith South, New South Wales
Sydney 1797
Australia
E-mail: Caroline.smith@uws.edu.au

Abstract

Objectives: The study objectives were to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture for reducing infertility-related stress.

Design: The study design was a randomized controlled trial of acupuncture compared with a wait-list control.

Setting: The study was conducted at The University of Western Sydney.

Subjects: Thirty-two (32) women aged 20–45 years, with a diagnosis of infertility, or a history of unsuccessfully trying to conceive for 12 months or more, were the subjects of the study.

Interventions: Women received six sessions of acupuncture over 8 weeks.

Outcome measures: The primary outcomes were infertility self-efficacy, anxiety, and infertility-related stress. The women’s experience of infertility and acupuncture is also reported.

Results: At the end of the 8-week intervention, women in the acupuncture group reported significant changes on two domains on the Fertility Problem Inventory with less social concern (mean difference [MD] ?3.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] ?7.58 to 0.84, p=0.05), and less relationship concern (MD ?3.66, 95% CI ?6.80 to ?0.052, p=0.02). There were also trends toward a reduction of infertility stress on other domains, and a trend toward improved self-efficacy (MD 11.9, 95% CI ?2.20 to 26.0, p=0.09) and less anxiety (MD ?2.54, 95% CI ?5.95 to 0.86, p=0.08) in the acupuncture group compared with the wait-list control. Women described the experience and impact of acupuncture as positive relating to a sense of relaxation and time out, the engagement with the practitioner, and an intervention that had very few negative side-effects. Changes were also perceived after treatment with women describing a physical and psychologic sense of relaxation and calmness, and a changed perspective in relation to coping.

Conclusions: Acupuncture may be a useful intervention to assist with the reduction of infertility-related stress. Further research is justified.

New Study: Electro-acupuncture increases IVF success rate

Increase of success rate for women undergoing embryo transfer by transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study

Objective

To evaluate the effect of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) on pregnancy rates (PR) in women undergoing ET.
Design

Prospective, randomized, single-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Setting

Research and laboratory facilities.
Patient(s)

A total of 309 patients, less than 45 years old, undergoing cryopreservation embryos transplant or fresh cycle IVF with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Intervention(s)

The subjects were randomly allocated to three groups: mock TEAS treatment: 30 minutes after ET (group I, n = 99); single TEAS treatment: 30 minutes after ET (group II, n = 110); and double TEAS treatments: 24 hours before ET and 30 minutes after ET (group III, n = 100).
Main Outcome Measure(s)

Clinical PR, embryos implantation rate, live birth rate.
Result(s)

The clinical PR, embryos implantation rate, and live birth rate of group I (29.3%, 15.0%, and 21.2%, respectively) were significantly lower than those in group II (42.7%, 25.7%, and 37.3%, respectively) and group III (50.0%, 25.9%, and 42.0%, respectively).
Conclusion(s)

Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, especially double TEAS, significantly improved the clinical outcome of ET.

Key Words: Acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS), pregnancy rate (PR), in vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo transfer (ET), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

Acupuncture improves seminal plasma acid phosphatase levels in infertility patients

Effect of acupuncture-moxibustion therapy on sperm quality in infertility patients with sperm abnormality

Objective
Working on seminal plasma acid phosphatase, to explore the mechanism by which acupuncture improves sperm quality (concentration, viability and motility) in infertility patients.
Methods
A total of 118 patients received acupuncture-moxibustion treatment. Before and 3, and 6 months after the treatment were detected their seminal plasma acid phosphatase, sperm concentration, sperm viability and sperm motility were measured.
Results
The differences between before and after treatments in sperm motility and seminal plasma acid phosphatase levels were statistically significant (P<0.01). Conclusion Acupuncture-moxibustion can improve seminal plasma acid phosphatase levels in infertility patients. Authors: An Chen, Aiming Shen, Renhua Li and Zhiping Xia Key Words Acupuncture Therapy – Infertility, Male – Acid Phosphatase – Spermatozoa

Acupuncture is an effective therapy for Sperm Abnormality


Abstract
Objective
To observe the clinical efficacy of acupuncture-moxibustion therapy for infertility due to sperm abnormality (SAI).
Methods
We treated a series of 35 cases of SAI with electroacupuncture combined with herb cake-partitioned moxibustion, observing the variation before and after treatment in symptom integral, sperm status, sex hormone and prostate function.
Results
After treatment, the patients were remarkably improved in symptom integral, sperm status, sex hormone and prostate function as compared with those prior to treatment.
Conclusion
Acupuncture is an effective therapy for SAI.

Key Words Acupuncture-moxibustion Therapy – Infertility, Male – Spermatozoa – Azoospermia – Oligospermia

Author: He Jinsen, doctor of medicine, professor

Acupuncture normalizes most of the Estradiol Valerate induced changes in ovarian adresnoceptors

human-reproduction-infertility-acupuncture

Title: Effect of electro-acupuncture on ovarian expression of ? (1)- and ? (2)-adrenoceptors, and p75 neurotrophin receptors in rats with steroid-induced polycystic ovaries
Author: Manni Luigi ; Lundeberg Thomas ; Holmäng Agneta ; Aloe Luigi ; Stener-Victorin Elisabet
Abstract:

Abstract

Background

Estradiol valerate (EV)-induced polycystic ovaries (PCO) in rats is associated with an increase in ovarian sympathetic outflow. Low-frequency (2 Hz) electro-acupuncture (EA) has been shown to modulate sympathetic markers as well as ovarian blood flow as a reflex response via the ovarian sympathetic nerves, in rats with EV-induced PCO.

Methods

In the present study, we further tested the hypothesis that repeated 2 Hz EA treatments modulate ovarian sympathetic outflow in rats with PCO, induced by a single i.m. injection of EV, by investigating the mRNA expression, the amount and distribution of proteins of ?1a-, ?1b-, ?1d-, and ?2-adrenoceptors (ARs), as well as the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR).

Results

It was found that EV injection results in significantly higher mRNA expression of ovarian ?1b- and ?1d-AR in PCO rats compared to control rats. The p75NTR and ?2-ARs mRNA expression were unchanged in the PCO ovary. Low-frequency EA resulted in a significantly lower expression of ?2-ARs mRNA expression in PCO rats. The p75NTR mRNA was unaffected in both PCO and control rats. PCO ovaries displayed significantly higher amount of protein of ?1a-, ?1b- and ?1d-ARs, and of p75NTR, compared to control rats, that were all counteracted by repeated low-frequency EA treatments, except for ?1b-AR.

Conclusion

The present study shows that EA normalizes most of the EV-induced changes in ovarian ARs. Furthermore, EA was able to prevent the EV-induced up regulation of p75NTR, probably by normalizing the sympathetic ovarian response to NGF action. Our data indicate a possible role of EA in the regulation of ovarian responsiveness to sympathetic inputs and depict a possible complementary therapeutic approach to overcoming sympathetic-related anovulation in women with PCOS.
Journal: Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Issn: 14777827