Reproductive acupuncture vs medication for anovulation

Interested know how reproductive acupuncture scores against medication at improving ovulation and ovarian health?

One of the causes for anovulation is luteinised unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFS). LUFS affects 5%-10% of healthy women of childbearing age and 25%-43% of women with infertility. This syndrome is more common among women diagnosed with endometriosis.

Most commonly LUFS is diagnosed during series of ultrasound scans. In women with LUFS the dominant follicle will grow bigger than usual (up to 4 centimetres). The follicle will undergo the luteinisation process, but it will not rupture during the midcycle to release the mature egg. Progesterone secretion will increase, the endometrium will undergo the secretory changes. Your won’t be able to see any difference in your period. The menstrual flow will be no different to healthy menstrual cycle; but, obviously, if oocyte is not released, fertilisation and pregnancy cannot happen. Pathogenesis of LUFS is poorly understood. The main treatment is ovulation induction with hCG hormonal injection or Chlomiphene. These treatments are a risk of hyperstimulation syndrome and other side-effects.

A recent literature review on acupuncture’s effect on LUFS has been published in Journal Of Acupuncture and Tuina Science. And if offers a safe and effective alternative.

29 studies from China were included in the review. The researchers discovered that acupuncture enhanced the ovulation and pregnancy rate, and was more effective than standard medication treatment. Patients received electro acupuncture, ear or standard acupuncture sessions and, according to researches, all of them showed statistical difference over standard medication prescription. Furthermore, acupuncture therapy or acupuncture plus adjacent Chinese herbs helped to induce LH surge, improve the blood perforation of the ovarian artery and induce ovulation; all more effective than Chlomiphene or hCG injections. Researchers observed no side effects resulting from acupuncture or/and Chinese herbs.

The findings about acupuncture’s effectiveness for LUFS are encouraging. However, the most of the reviewed studies had a low number of participants or had other methodological flaws. There is need for a further appropriately designed randomised controlled trials to confirm the current findings.

Read the abstract here.