Acupuncture Outperforms Drugs For Infertility

Acupuncture Outperforms Drugs For Infertility

Researchers find acupuncture combined with clomiphene more effective than clomiphene plus supplementary hormonal pharmaceuticals for the treatment of infertility. The combination of acupuncture plus clomiphene produces significantly higher pregnancy rates for women with anovulatory infertility than clomiphene plus estradiol cypionate and dydrogesterone. The data was published in the report entitled Effects of Acupuncture on the Endometrium in Anovulatory Cases Treated by Clomiphene: A Clinical Observation.

The addition of acupuncture to clomiphene therapy increased pregnancy rates, lowered the resistance and pulsatility indices of the uterine arteries, and reduced the adverse effects caused by clomiphene. The increase in positive patient outcomes combined with reductions of adverse effects supports the research team’s (Taian Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital) conclusion, “TCM [Traditional Chinese Medicine] can be either applied alone or combined with Western medicine to up pregnancy rates and treat infertility. With the help of TCM [i.e., acupuncture], treatment for infertility can be more effective while producing much less adverse effects.” [1]

Clomiphene triggers the pituitary gland to produce hormones that stimulate ovulation. The upside of this medication is that it stimulates the release of eggs from the ovaries. The downside is that it may produce adverse effects and it is contraindicated for patients with endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Notably, it may increase the incidence of having twins or triplets. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture to the clomiphene treatment regimen mitigates the drug’s adverse effects and ups the pregnancy rate. Moreover, the acupuncture protocol outperforms the clomiphene plus estradiol cypionate and dydrogesterone protocol. Estradiol cypionate is an estrogen hormone and is often used for the treatment of low estrogen levels. Estradiol cypionate may increase the rate of developing blood clots, melasma (dark skin patches on the face), and may cause other adverse effects. Dydrogesterone is a steroidal progestin used in many countries for the treatment of infertility and threatened miscarriages.

The clinical study was conducted with a semi-protocolized approach to acupuncture point selection. Identical primary acupuncture points were assigned to all patients and secondary acupuncture points were prescribed based upon differential diagnostics. As a variable control, secondary acupuncture point prescriptions were limited to one of three acupuncture point groupings: liver qi stagnation, phlegm-dampness, blood stasis. Patients were not divided into treatment and control groups based upon the diagnostic groups. Instead, they were randomly divided into three groups and then diagnostic decisions were made for the addition of secondary acupuncture points for the TCM treatment group.

A total of 43 patients were randomly distributed into three groups. Group 1 received only clomiphene. Group 2 received clomiphene plus estradiol cypionate and dydrogesterone. Group 3 received clomiphene plus acupuncture and moxibustion. The number of patients in each group was 15, 14, and 14 respectively. Patients ranged from ages 21–39. The preexisting duration of anovulatory infertility ranged from 1–8 years.

Groups 1 and 2 received 50–100 mg of clomiphene, once per day. Group 2 also received 1 mg of estradiol cypionate and 10 mg of dydrogesterone. Group 3 received clomiphene plus acupuncture and moxibustion. The administration of care for all groups started on the 5th day of menstruation and lasted for 5 consecutive days. One treatment course consisted of three menstrual cycles. In total, 1–2 courses of treatment were applied. The TCM acupuncture treatment protocol was as follows. Patients rested in a supine position. Upon disinfection, a 0.30 mm x 40 mm filiform needle was inserted into the following acupoints:

CV4 (Guanyuan)
CV3 (Zhongji)
Zigong
ST29 (Guilai)
SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
ST36 (Zusanli)
CV4, CV3, Zigong, and ST29 were inserted transverse-obliquely (15° angle) to a depth of 1–1.2 cm. SP6 and ST36 were needled perpendicularly and manipulated with the Ping Bu Ping Xie (tonify and sedate) technique. Additional acupoints were administered based on differential diagnostic patterns. For liver qi stagnation, the following acupoint was added:

BL18 (Ganshu)
For phlegm and dampness, the following acupoint was added:

ST40 (Fenglong)
For blood stasis, the following acupoints were added:

SP10 (Xuehai)
LV2 (Xingjian)
Moxibustion sessions lasted 30 minutes and were applied at a heat intensity level until the skin became flushed. Sessions were conducted once per day. Moxibustion was not applied until 10 days passed after ovulation. Moxibustion was applied at the following acupoints:

Zigong
CV3 (Zhongji)
CV4 (Guanyuan)
ST29 (Guilai)
Additional research confirms that acupuncture combined with moxibustion is effective for the treatment of infertility. Researchers conclude that acupuncture acts on the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries and regulates hormone levels in the body. [2, 3] Yu et al. conclude that electroacupuncture can increase gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) levels and increases sensitivity of the ovaries to gonadotropin. The study documents that electroacupuncture is effective for the treatment of infertility in anovulatory cases with low levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

In a related study, Xu et.al conclude that acupuncture combined with moxibustion increases ovulation rates. [5] The treatment protocol was as follows. First, acupuncture was applied to the following acupoints:

Zigong
CV3 (Zhongji)
CV4 (Guanyuan)
ST36 (Zusanli)
SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
LV3 (Taichong)
Additional acupoints were added based upon diagnostic patterns. For liver qi stagnation, BL18 was added; for phlegm and dampness, ST40 was added; for blood stasis, SP10 and LV2 were added. Next, moxibustion was applied to Zigong, CV3, CV4, and ST36. Subsequently, an electroacupuncture device was connected to the acupoints. The treatment was applied daily for 3–7 consecutive days. The results of B-scan ultrasonography conducted during the study documents that ovulation rates increase when acupuncture combined with moxibustion is applied.

In another study, acupuncture has been found effective for increasing infertility rates for women receiving IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments. This highlights the role of acupuncture in an integrative medicine environment. University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers conclude that acupuncture increases pregnancy rates for women receiving IVF. In a study of 16 high quality clinical trials consisting of 4,021 subjects, acupuncture significantly raised pregnancy rates for women receiving IVF where otherwise pregnancy rates would have been low.

Strong evidence indicates that acupuncture increases pregnancy rates for women with anovulatory infertility and other forms of infertility. Acupuncture has been proven an effective complementary therapy to drug therapy and IVF protocols. Research indicates that acupuncture provides an additional benefit; it reduces the adverse effect rates of infertility medications. Based on the findings of modern research, the use of acupuncture is an appropriate, safe, and effective complementary therapy for the treatment of infertility.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!

References
1. Effects of Acupuncture on the Endometrium in Anovulatory Cases Treated by Clomiphene: A Clinical Observation. Journal of Taishan Medical College. 2016, 37(9):1029-1031.
2. Yu J, Zheng HM, Bing SM. Changes in sSrum FSH, LH and Ovarian Follicular Growth During Electroacupuncture for Induction of Ovulation [J]. Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine. 1989, 9(4):199-202.
3. Sha GE, Huang WC, Ma RH. Acupuncture for Infertility: A Clinical Observation Based on 84 cases [J]. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 1998, 14(1):16-18.
5. Xu XF, Gu Y, Gu Ling, Zhu YP. Investigating Advantages of TCM Intervention for Inducting Ovulation in Infertile Women [J]. Chinese Archives of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2012, 30(3):467-468.
6. Cao ZY. Obstetrics and Gynecology [M]. Beijing: People’s Military Medical Publisher. 1999: 2474.
7. Manheimer, Eric, Daniëlle van der Windt, Ke Cheng, Kristen Stafford, Jianping Liu, Jayne Tierney, Lixing Lao, Brian M. Berman, Patricia Langenberg, and Lex M. Bouter. “The effects of acupuncture on rates of clinical pregnancy among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Human reproduction update (2013). University of Maryland.

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1716-acupuncture-outperforms-drugs-for-infertility-promotes-pregnancy

Acupuncture for Fertility

Acupuncture for Fertility

When used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. A recent study from Tel Aviv University reports, ““When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.” For the 4.5 million couples experiencing infertility each year, acupuncture may be just what the doctor ordered.

Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. “The goal of an infertility treatment from a Chinese Medicine perspective is not just to get pregnant, but to stay pregnant and to have a healthy baby,” says Deb Davies, LAc, a Pacific College alumnus who practices at Herbin Acupuncture and Wellness in San Diego. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.

Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi , or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving.

Acupuncture infertility treatment can improve almost every cause of this obstacle. While 40 percent of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40 percent is caused by problems in the male, such as low sperm count or motility. The cause of female infertility stems from problems such as anovulation and endometriosis. The remaining 20 percent is caused by unknown factors.

One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortizol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle. “Chinese medicine can help support a woman through this important time in her life—whether that is emotionally or physically, acupuncture can help with much more than just conception. It can help with morning sicknesss, nausea, aches and pains (low back pain, for example), anxiety preparation for birth, and insomnia, among many others,” explains Davies.

Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress is capable of preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can contribute to the cause of female infertility. Stress can also create spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which can interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence. Acupuncture infertility treatment counters the effects of stress and cortizol by releasing endorphins in the brain. An herbal impotence cure is also an option for men and can reduce stress.

Hormonal balance does not have to be disrupted by cortizol to cause infertility. The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder, in which the release of a mature egg from the ovary is prevented, usually because of a hormonal imbalance. Without enough progesterone, for example, the fetus is unable to attach to the uterus. High levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk, can also prevent ovulation.

An imbalance in reproductive hormones can also negatively affect male reproductive function, such as sperm motility and production. However, the fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation in women by regulating the hypothalamus and pituitary, the glands that control reproductive hormones, don’t perform nearly as well for men (success rates are about a third of those for women), nor have they been approved for men by the FDA. Male infertility treatment must take another track. An herbal impotence cure — if impotence is a factor in a couple’s infertility — causes no side effects and has a reported success rate when taken in conjunction with male infertility treatment.

While the fertility drugs commonly prescribed for women can produce a 20 to 60 percent pregnancy rate, they also commonly include such side effects as abdominal tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and nausea. Some studies show that they may also cause breast cancer.

Acupuncture infertility treatment, by contrast, produces few or no side effects while performing the same function as the drugs do: stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of female infertility as well as male infertility.

SOURCES

Tel Aviv University study http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&;id=15808 –

Article found at: http://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2015/04/17/how-does-acupuncture-fertility-work-increase-chance-conception-without-side#sthash.yOaIAQJy.dpuf

A Reason to Celebrate

A Reason to Celebrate

Thank you Nashville, for 4 great years.  When we opened in January of 2012, believed in the power of acupuncture, and hoped the community would, as well.

Each time someone calls us with the news that they’re pregnant after struggling with fertility; each time someone stands up straight for the first time after a treatment, when they struggled to get out of the waiting room chair; each time someone takes years off their face after completing the Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture system – we share that victory with you.  The added bonus is the positive side effects of acupuncture – when you tell us that not only is your digestion improved, but your sleeping better at night, too.

Thank you for trusting us in your wellness journey, and for sharing your positive results with friends, family, and on-line reviews. We look forward to many more years and victories to come.

As we reflect on these past four years, we are filled with gratitude for the Nashville community’s support and trust. Your stories of healing and improvement inspire us every day. We have seen firsthand how acupuncture can change lives, from reducing chronic pain and improving overall well-being to providing relief from stress and anxiety. The success stories we hear affirm the efficacy of acupuncture and motivate us to continue providing the best care possible.

Our mission has always been to help our patients achieve optimal health through holistic practices, and your feedback and encouragement have been invaluable in this journey. We are committed to staying updated with the latest techniques and research in acupuncture to offer you the most effective treatments.

We invite you to continue this journey with us. Whether you are new to acupuncture or a long-time patient, we are here to support your health and wellness goals. Let’s make the next years even more successful and healthy together. Thank you, Nashville, for believing in us and the power of acupuncture.

Is Acupuncture Right For You?

For almost everyone who has asked themselves that question, the answer is YES.

Most of us know that acupuncture can help with chronic pain associated with arthritis, injury, and demanding lifestyles. Acupuncture is growing in popularity for other areas, as well, including allergy treatments and fertility. There is a whole host of other conditions that acupuncture can bring great relief for, also, including digestive issues, sleep disturbances, menopause, stress/anxiety, smoking cessation, and weight loss. Acupuncture can even help improve your sex life and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, or if you’ve reached a point when feeling ok just isn’t good enough, congratulations! Realizing that you deserve more is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Making a commitment to take the steps to change how you feel is the next step. Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood can help you on your wellness journey. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our services are safe and highly effective, and we offer evening and weekend appointments for your convenience, as well as cost-saving packages and an exclusive membership program.

Call us at 615-939-2787 or visit our website, to schedule a free consultation today.

Acupuncture for Fertility

Acupuncture – A Great Compliment to IVF

If you or someone you know is having a difficult time getting pregnant, acupuncture is a highly effective technique to either increase fertility on its own or as a compliment to IVF treatments. Recent studies referenced in the article below show higher success rates of pregnancy and live birth for women who add acupuncture to IVF or use acupuncture instead of clomifene (clomid, omifene).

At Affinity Acupuncture, we have helped a significant number of women with fertility complications. Additionally, acupuncture treatments are highly effective for pregnancy-related nausea, physical discomfort, and much more. We also offer prenatal and postnatal massage on a pregnancy table, allowing future mommies to comfortably lay on their stomachs. To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, call 615-939-2787 today to set up a free consultation.