Acupuncture has been popular for decades to help women’s fertility, but the effectiveness is still in debate. What is the latest development of research on this aspect? A paper analysed data up to June 2018 to study the effectiveness of acupuncture for infertile women with natural conception.
22 trials with a total of 2591 participants were included. The participants included were women aged 20–40 years, a husband with semen of normal quality and shape, women who failed to conceive with unprotected sexual life for 1 year, women with a gynecological diagnosis of infertility, women not receiving treatment by assisted reproductive technology. The experimental group received acupuncture or its combined therapy, and the control group received other standard therapies, such as injected Western drugs and oral Western medication. They measured pregnancy rate, which was confirmed with a pregnancy test and ultrasound, ovulation rate, endometrial thickness, endocrine indexes, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and adverse events.
The results show that
1, the pregnancy rate is significantly increased with acupuncture treatment with or without other intervention such as Chinese medicine or Western medicine; pregnancy rate is increased with all types of infertility such as ovulation disorders or other types of infertility.
2, ovulation rate is increased with acupuncture treatments.
3, the level of LH is significantly improved with acupuncture treatments.
4, the level of endometrial thickness is significantly improved with acupuncture treatments.
5, fewer side effects occurs with acupuncture treatments.
Yun L et al Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jul;98(29):e16463. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016463.