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Maggie Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 2 September 2014 P9
Maggie Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
Maggie Ju (2020) The Potentiality of COVID-19 Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 27 Issue 2 November 2020 P9
Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Infertility caused by tube blockage, how can acupuncture help?
The fallopian tube is a part of the women’s reproductive system. It plays an essential role in gamete transport, fertilization and the early development of the embryo. The tube contains inner lining and smooth muscle wall. In the inner lining there are two major cell types are the ciliated and secretory cells. The fallopian tube goes through cyclical changes responding to estrogen and progesterone levels. The ciliated cells are low in height during the menstrual periods of the cycle, increasing during the follicular phase to reach their maximal height in the periovulatory period. Around the time of ovulation, the secretory cells reach peak activity. In the luteal phase, both cell types reduce in height.
Fallopian tubes are very important for normal fertility. They play a key role in picking up eggs and transporting eggs, sperm and embryo. When an egg is release, it takes about 8 hours to reach the site within fallopian tube. The fallopian tubes are the places where eggs are fertilised and embryo is accommodated there for 72 hours. Once progesterone dominance begins lumen opens and the embryo is transported to the uterus. Fallopian tubes are vulnerable to infection and surgical damage. This may affect tube function and cause infertility. If the tubes are blocked, this will cause infertility. Falllopian tube obstructions are the most common cause of female infertility, accounting for 30%-40% of cases.
Fallopian tube spasm, tubal infertility and acupuncture
As mentioned above, the fallopian tube is essential on sperm, egg and embryo transport and embryo development and it is very important for women who desire to get pregnant naturally. In IVF procedure, the fallopian tube is circumvented. The fallopian tube is not a concrete tunnel. The tube wall is flexible and consisted of smooth muscles which are responding to monthly cyclic hormone changes. Sometimes the tube can be obstructed by debris in the tube and tube muscle spasm. Women with tube spasm will find it difficult to get pregnant.
Fallopian tube smooth muscle contraction is induced by sympathetic nerves. Acupuncture reduces sympathetic activity and relaxes tube muscles and the debris in the tube is flushed away by the tubal fluids. This makes the obstructed tube reopen. In this case, pregnancy occurs quickly after acupuncture treatment.
Pelvic infection is a major cause of tubal infertility. Tubal damage by infection can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, for example Chlamydia trachomatis accounts for half of the cases of acute inflammatory pelvic infections in developed countries. Tubal damage can also occur after miscarriage, termination of pregnancy, puerperal sepsis, or insertion of an intrauterine contraceptive device. Endometriosis associated adhesions is likely cause tubal distortion. Previous laparotomy is a risk factor for tubal infertility. In addition, ectopic pregnancy and uterine fibroids can also damage the tubes.
Acupuncture help to reduce inflammation; as a result, it releases tube spasms, reduces scar tissue contraction and helps inflammation absorption and helps healing process. There were a few case reports in Chinese that tubal infertility with acupuncture treatment, pregnancy rate was up to 72%.
R.A.Lyons et al (2006)Human Reproduction Update, 12: 363–372
Papaioannou S Hum Rreprod (2004) 19:481-5
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