Medical industry articles and abstracts:

Acupuncture – Various

  • Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture
  • In order to assess whether electro-acupuncture (EA) can reduce a high uterine artery blood flow impedance, 10 infertile but otherwise healthy women with a pulsatility index (PI) >=3.0 in the uterine arteries were treated with EA in a prospective, non-randomized study. Before inclusion in the study and throughout the entire study period, the women were down-regulated with a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRHa) in order to exclude any fluctuating endogenous hormone effects on the PI. The baseline PI was measured when the serum oestradiol was <=0.1 nmol/l, and thereafter the women were given EA eight times, twice a week for 4 weeks. The PI was measured again closely after the eighth EA treatment, and once more 10-14 days after the EA period. Skin temperature on the forehead (STFH) and in the lumbrosacral area (STLS) was measured during the first, fifth and eighth EA treatments. Compared to the mean baseline PI, the mean PI was significantly reduced both shortly after the eighth EA treatment (P < 0.0001) and 10-14 days after the EA period (P < 0.0001). STFH increased significantly during the EA treatments. It is suggested that both of these effects are due to a central inhibition of the sympathetic activity.

  • Acupuncture Treatment For Infertile Women in stress, anxiety depression
  • Source: Medical Acupuncture, A Journal For Physicians By Physicians, Spring / Summer 2000- Volume 12 / Number 2
    The Stanford University study recruited 150 depressed women who were 12 to 30 weeks pregnant, and randomly assigned 52 to receive acupuncture specifically designed for depressive symptoms, 49 to regular acupuncture and 49 to Swedish massage. After eight weeks, almost two-thirds of the women who had depression-specific acupuncture experienced a reduction in at least 50 percent of their symptoms, compared with just under half of the women treated with either massage or regular acupuncture.

  • Acupuncture Treatment For Infertile Women Undergoing Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection
  • Results No pregnancies occurred in the non-acupuncture cycles. Three women produced more
    follicles with acupuncture treatment (mean, 11.3 vs 3.9 prior to acupuncture; P=.005). All 3
    women conceived, but only 1 pregnancy lasted past the 1st trimester.
    Conclusion Acupuncture may be a useful adjunct to gonadotropin therapy to produce follicles in
    women undergoing in vitro fertilization.

  • Effects of Electro-Acupuncture on Nerve Growth Factor and Ovarian Morphology in Rats with Experimentally Induced Polycystic Ovaries
  • Despite extensive research on the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), there is still disagreement on the underlying mechanisms. The rat model for experimentally induced polycystic ovaries (PCO)-produced by a single injection of estradiol valerate-has similarities with human PCOS, and both are associated with hyperactivity in the sympathetic nervous system. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is known to serve as a neurotrophin for both the sympathetic and the sensory nervous systems and to enhance the activity of catecholaminergic and possibly other neuron types. Electro-acupuncture (EA) is known to reduce hyperactivity in the sympathetic nervous system. For these reasons, the model was used in the present study to investigate the effects of EA (12 treatments, approximately 25 min each, over 30 days) by analyzing NGF in the central nervous system and the endocrine organs, including the ovaries. The main findings in the present study were first, that significantly higher concentrations of NGF were found in the ovaries and the adrenal glands in the rats in the PCO model than in the control rats that were only injected with the vehicle (oil or NaCl). Second, that repeated EA treatments in PCO rats resulted in concentrations of NGF in the ovaries that were significantly lower than those in non-EA-treated PCO rats but were within a normal range that did not differ from those in the untreated oil and NaCl control groups. The results in the present study provide support for the theory that EA inhibits hyperactivity in the sympathetic nervous system.

  • Substitution of Acupuncture for HCG in Ovulation Induction
  • Among the 10 markedly effective and effective cycles, ovulation was induced in 2
    cases after needling and diagnosed pregnancy by blood HCG assay and ultrasonography. In 9 of
    the 10 cycles treated with acupuncture for ovulation induction without using HCG and other
    drugs, the symptoms of OHSS were significantly remitted or even disappeared. Only in one cycle,
    HCG (with dosage less than for ovulation) was used after needling to maintain the function of
    corpus luteum and resulted in exacerbation of OHSS and finally remitted by drug treatment.
    It was reported in literature that using HMG-HCG in the induction of ovulation, the ovulatory rate
    was about 70%-90%, but the incidence of OHSS might be 10%-15.4% and even life-threatening
    in the severe case. At present, there were no satisfactory measures for the prevention and
    remission of OHSS. In most reports, it is considered that when OHSS inclines to occur, stopping
    injection of HCG is the effective way to avoid severe OHSS. However, stopping HCG would not
    only discontinue the ovulation of HCH, but also gave up the already developed follicles. Our
    clinical practice demonstrated that acupuncture is effective in ovulation induction and also the
    remission of OHSS induced by HMG. Furthermore, we also noted that in most OHSS patients
    enlarged ovaries and numerous developed follicles were revealed. As a result of excessive
    follicles developed, dysplasia of ova and insufficiency of corpus luteum often occurred, thus
    leading to uneasy pregnancy after ovulation. So it is reasonable to infer that using some Chinese
    drugs benefiting the function of corpus luteum or using certain amount of progesterone as
    supplementary treatment after acupuncture, the pregnancy rate could be raised.

  • Relationship Between Blood Radioimmunoreactive Beta-Endorphin and Hand Skin Temperature During The Electro-Acupuncture Induction of Ovulation
  • In this study 11 cycles were PCO and the blood LH level in these cycles was marked higher than that of normal subjects. EA may promote the release of ß-E in the brain and reduce LH-RH secretion from hypothalamus. Therefore, the blood LH content released from the pituitary was decreased. This might be one of the mechanisms of EA ovulation induction.
    These results suggest that in anovulatory cases the hyperactive sympathetic system can be depressed by EA and the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis can be regulated by EA via central sympathetic system. This might be another possible mechanism of EA ovulation induction.

  • Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy
  • RESULT(S):
    Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.
    Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

Infertility – General

  • Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility
    Although the understanding of acupuncture is based on ancient medical theory, studies have suggested that certain effects of acupuncture are mediated through endogenous opioid peptides in the central nervous system, particularly beta-endorphin. Because these neuropeptides influence gonadotropin secretion through their action on GnRH, it is logical to hypothesize that acupuncture may impact on the menstrual cycle through these neuropeptides. Although studies of adequate design, sample size, and appropriate control on the use of acupuncture on ovulation induction are lacking, there is only one prospective randomized controlled study examining the efficacy of acupuncture in patients undergoing IVF. Besides its central effect, the sympathoinhibitory effects of acupuncture may impact on uterine blood flow.

  • A Nutritional Supplement for Improving Fertility in Women
    Thirty women aged 24-46 years who had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for 6-36 months completed the study. After 3 months, the supplement group (n = 15) demonstrated a trend toward an increase in mean midluteal phase progesterone level (from 8.2 to 12.8 ng/mL, P = .08) and a significant increase in the average number of days in the cycle with basal temperatures >37 degrees C during the luteal phase (6.8-9.7 days, P = .04). The placebo group (n = 15) did not show any notable changes after treatment in any of the parameters studied. After 5 months, 5 of the 15 women in the supplement group were pregnant (33%), and none of the 15 women in the placebo group were (P <.01). No significant side effects were noted. CONCLUSION: Nutritional supplementation may provide an attractive alternative or complement to conventional fertility therapy.

  • Pins and Needles: Could Acupuncture Help Promote Pregnancy?
  • The Mind/Body Connection: Its Role in Fertility and IVF
  • Western Medicine has traditionally been resistant to alternative therapies, focusing on the management of disease after it presents, often ignoring the fact that a particular organ or system actually belongs to a person or patient. Alternative therapies and traditional medicine in many cultures, have focused on the whole person and have generally asked the questions about causation and methods of prevention.

    Ignoring lifestyle, diet, exercise and the power of the mind, has forced patients to choose between alternative therapies and Western Medicine instead of combining the best of both worlds. Mind and Body medicine combines modern scientific medicine with psychology, nutrition, exercise, and stress management. ..

Infertility – IVF and IUI

Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)

Inducing Ovulation


Luteal Phase Defect

Male Factor Infertility

Morning Sickness

Labor Induction

Breech Presentation