Female Fertility Studies

Acupuncture performed around the time of embryo transfer: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Smith CA et al. 2019. Acupuncture performed around the time of embryo transfer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online. 2019 Mar;38(3):364-379. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.12.038. Epub 2019 Jan 2. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture may be effective when compared to no adjunctive treatment with increasing clinical pregnancies and live births, but is not an efficacious treatment when compared with sham controls. ("Sham acupuncture is not an effective control, because anytime you put a needle in the body you affect a change", Stephanie Gianarelli)
Published on March 1, 2019

Chinese Herbal Medicine Fertility Studies
Ried K, Stuart K., Complement Ther Med. 2011 Dec;19(6):319-31. CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.
Published on December 19, 2011

Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in the reproductive system.
Stener-Victorin E, Wu X., Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 Mar 29. Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden. elisabet.stener-victorin@neuro.gu.se ABSTRACT: The use of acupuncture to treat reproductive dysfunction has not been well investigated. Only a few clinical studies have been reported, most of which are flawed by poor design and a lack of valid outcome measures and diagnostic criteria, making the results difficult to interpret. Experimental studies, however, show that acupuncture has substantial effects on reproductive function. Here we review the possible mechanisms of action of acupuncture on the reproductive system and its effects on reproductive dysfunction, focusing in particular on polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common endocrine and metabolic disorder in women. Clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates that acupuncture is a suitable alternative or complement to pharmacological induction of ovulation, without adverse side effects. Clearly, acupuncture modulates endogenous regulatory systems, including the sympathetic nervous system, the endocrine system, and the neuroendocrine system. Randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the clinical effects of acupuncture in reproductive disorders.
Published on October 28, 2010

Effects of acupuncture on LIF and IL-12 in rats of implantation failure.
Gui J, Xiong F, Yang W, Li J, Huang G. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2012 May;67(5):383-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2011.01097.x. Epub 2012 Jan 9. – Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Wuhan, Hubei, China. CONCLUSION: Acupuncture could improve the poor receptive state of endometrium by promoting LIF and IL-12 secretion to improve blastocyst implantation.
Published on July 9, 2012

Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review.
Ried K, Stuart K., 2011, Complement Ther Med. 2011 Dec;19(6):319-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Oct 5. CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.
Published on December 19, 2011

Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in-vitro fertilization outcomes.
Hullender Rubin LE et al. 2015. Reproductive Biomedicine Online. 2015 Jun;30(6):602-12. Overall, IVF with adjuvant WS-TCM (whole-systems traditional Chinese medicine) was associated with greater odds of live birth in donor and non-donor cycles.
Published on June 30, 2015

Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.
Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M., Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7. Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fertility Centre Scandinavia, University of Gothenburg, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. CONCLUSION: Compared to the mean baseline PI (pulsatility index), 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).
Published on June 11, 1996

Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer.
Stener-Victorin E, Humaidan P., Acupunct Med. 2006 Dec;24(4):157-63. Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiolopgy, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden. elisabet.stener-victorin@neuro.gu.se ABSTRACT: During the last five years the use of acupuncture in female infertility as an adjuvant to conventional treatment in assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased in popularity. The present paper briefly discusses clinical and experimental data on the effect of acupuncture on uterine and ovarian blood flow, as an analgesic method during ART, and on endocrine and metabolic disturbances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Further it gives a summary of recent studies evaluating the effect of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer on pregnancy outcome. Of the four published RCTs, three reveal significantly higher pregnancy rates in the acupuncture groups compared with the control groups. But the use of different study protocols makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. It seems, however, that acupuncture has a positive effect and no adverse effects on pregnancy outcome.
Published on December 24, 2006

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