Acupuncture Research

Full research abstracts/articles are available on PubMed.

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IVF + Acupuncture Success Rates

pregnancy1Influence of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproductive therapy.

This study looked at a group of 160 women. Half of the women (80) were treated with acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer phase of IVF, and half (80) who were not. Those who received acupuncture had a 15.8% increase in success rate with implantation of the embryo. This is based on the theory that acupuncture relaxes the Central Nervous System and keeps the uterus from contracting during and after the procedure. This significant effect of acupuncture was re-confirmed in 2006 as Fertility & Sterility published two similar studies that showed a 13% and 18% implantation success rate in the acupuncture groups over the control.

Fertility & Sterility, Vol.77, No.4, April 2002

Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer improves pregnancy rates.

The treatments were performed on-site, eliminating the stress of traveling to another site before and after the embryo transfer. Also, the acupuncture treatment protocol did not follow the traditional Paulus protocol, thereby suggesting there is still more research to be done on how best to treat infertility issues with acupuncture

Fertilty and Sterility, Vol. 90, 2008.

Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial.

A prospective, randomised controlled clinical trial was conducted with 84 infertile patients who had had at least two unsuccessful attempts of IVF. In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed in the past.

Isoyama Manca di Villahermosa D, Dos Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP .Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Clinic for Human Reproduction, , Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil.

Reduction of Blood Flow Impedance in the Uterine Arteries of Infertile Women with Electro-Acupuncture

This study established that local acupuncture with electro-stimulation could normalize the blood flow to the reproductive organs, particularly useful in older women, ‘poor responders’ and women with thin endometrial lining. Treatments were given twice a week for 4 weeks leading up to an IVF cycle and tests revealed that the uterine artery blood flow increased dramatically within this time and led to a thicker endometrial lining in the women. A similar study showed this treatment increased the number of follicles significantly in women who had been labeled ‘poor responders.’ Acupuncture treatment for infertile women undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

Stener-Victorin E, Human Reproduction, Vol.11, No.6, 1996.

Acupuncture for Induction of Ovulation in Women with PCOS

 Acupuncture has been demonstrated to improve menstrual frequency and to decrease circulating testosterone in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Main outcome measures were changes in LH secretion patterns from baseline to after 10-13 weeks of treatment and ovulation frequency during the treatment period. Ovulation frequency during treatment was higher in the acupuncture group compared with the control group. We conclude that repeated acupuncture treatments resulted in higher ovulation frequency in lean/overweight women with PCOS and were more effective than just meeting with the therapist. Ovarian and adrenal sex steroid serum levels were reduced with no effect on LH secretion.

Johansson J, Redman L, Veldhuis PP, Sazonova A, Labrie F, Holm G, Johannsson G, Stener-Victorin E.,American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, March 2013.

Acupuncture for Pregnancy Care

ivf-11Acupuncture turns Breech Babies

The success rate of the Acupuncture correction of fetal breech presentation is 76.4%. Acupuncture correction of fetal malpresentation is a relatively simple, efficacious and inexpensive method associated with a lower percentage of operatively completed deliveries, which definitely reflects in improved parameters of vital and perinatal statistics.

2003 S. Karger AG, Basel Fetal Diagn Ther. 2003 Nov-Dec;18(6):418-21.

Acupuncture helps with Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction

A randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether acupuncture at term can influence cervical ripening and thus reduce the need for postdates induction. On their due dates 45 women were randomized into either an acupuncture group (25) or control group (20).The women were then examined at two daily intervals for cervical length (measured with vaginal trasonography, cervical mucus and cervical stasis according to Bishops score). The acupuncture group also received acupuncture every two days. Labour was induced in 20 % of women in the acupuncture group compared to 35% in the control group.

Acupuncture every two days supports cervical ripening and can shorten the time interval between the woman’s expected date of delivery and the actual time of delivery. Acupuncture comment

Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2001; 113 (23-24): 942-6

Acupuncture helps with Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction

A randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether acupuncture at term can influence cervical ripening and thus reduce the need for postdates induction. On their due dates 45 women were randomized into either an acupuncture group (25) or control group (20).The women were then examined at two daily intervals for cervical length (measured with vaginal trasonography, cervical mucus and cervical stasis according to Bishops score). The acupuncture group also received acupuncture every two days. Labour was induced in 20 % of women in the acupuncture group compared to 35% in the control group.

Acupuncture every two days supports cervical ripening and can shorten the time interval between the woman’s expected date of delivery and the actual time of delivery. Acupuncture comment

Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2001; 113 (23-24): 942-6

Other Natural Cervical Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction Suggestions

Common methods discussed. The one caveat, I would not suggest Cod Liver Oil unless the pregnant mama is also having constipation - and even then I would go easy with it.

Influence of acupuncture on duration of labor

The aim of this case control study was to evaluate the thus far controversially discussed influence of acupuncture (AP) on the duration of labor. Fifty-seven women with AP treatment (group A) were included in our study after spontaneous vaginal full-term delivery. The control group included 63 women (group B). Median duration of the first stage of labor was 196 min in group A and 321 min in group B (Wilcoxon 2-sample test, p < 0.0001). Median duration of the second stage of labor was 57 min in group A and 57 min in group B (Wilcoxon 2-sample test, p = 0.82). Thirty women had a premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), in group A 66.7% and in group B 33.3% (chi2 test, p = 0.02). Women without AP (group B) received significantly more often oxytocin during the first stage of labor compared with group A women (85 and 15%, respectively, chi2 test, p = 0.01) as well as during the second stage of labor (72 and 28%, respectively, chi2 test, p = 0.03). Our study suggests that AP treatment is a recommendable form of childbirth preparation due to its positive effect on the duration of labor, namely by shortening the first stage of labor.

Zeisler H, Tempfer C, Mayerhofer K, Barrada M, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, AKH, Austria.

Acupuncture for Pain, Stress and Fatigue

images-5Acupuncture treats Side Effects of Cancer

Randomized controlled trial of 302 outpatient Breast Cancer patients. Acupuncture treatments were given once a week for six weeks to treat Cancer related fatigue. By the end of the six-week period, those who had received acupuncture appeared to fare better on every measure of fatigue that the team assessed. Specifically, those in the acupuncture group reported feeling notably better than the "usual-care" group in terms of overall fatigue, physical and mental fatigue, anxiety and depression levels, functional well-being, emotional well-being, social functioning, and overall quality of life.

Acupuncture for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Breast Cancer: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial , Alexander Molassiotis,Joy Bardy,Jennifer Finnegan-John,Peter Mackereth,David W. Ryder,Jacqueline Filshie,Emma Ream andAlison Richardson Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nov 2012: 30 -31.