History of Acupuncture for fertility
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have a long history when
it comes to enhancing fertility.. Infertility, as a medical term used in Chinese medicine, was first seen in the literature in “Su Wen” (475-221 BC) which recognized the physiological phenomenon of infertility due to declining reproductive function in the elderly. In the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), Huangfu‘s ‘Acupuncture-A, B.-Women, Miscellaneous Diseases’ was an earlier book describing the use of acupuncture for the treatment of infertility. The book contained acupuncture and progestation methods.
Modern fertility issues
Infertility has plagued many families and around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving, equating to around 3.5 million people in the UK. Infertility are those who have a normal sexual life and have not taken any contraceptive measures and yet are still unable to conceive. There are many causes of infertility of which female factors account for about 40%, male factors account for about 40%, couples have about 10% of factors, and other unclear factors account for the remaining 10%. In addition, about 40% of infertile couples have primary infertility, ie. they have never been pregnant. 60% of infertile couples have secondary infertility, which refers to couples who have been pregnant but have been unable to conceive a second time.
As the modern life pressure increases, the incidence of infertility has increased significantly. Some factors can affect fertility in both men and women. These include: late marriage and childbearing, abortion, being obese (having a BMI of 30 or over), exposure to certain pesticides and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
40 years after the first child was born using in vitro fertilisation, IVF treatment has become a common treatment for people who are unable to conceive naturally. However its clinical pregnancy rate has always hovered in the 30% to 50% region with the embryo implantation success rate as low as 10% to 20%. Failure of repeated IVF has become a bottleneck that hinders the further improvement of the pregnancy rate and is increasingly receiving widespread attention from the reproductive medicine community. Acupuncture and herbal medicine, as a special treatment method in Chinese medicine, has been applied more and more widely in IVF. Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has achieved good results in improving ovarian function, endometrial receptivity and reducing postoperative complications. A recent study has shown that the acupuncture treated group had higher parturition rate compared with drug treatment. (Ai 2017)
We will see a number of conditions in the Acu London clinic, including:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)/Sperm quality/Non ovulation /Amenorrhea/Unexplained infertility/Fibroids/Endometriosis/High FSH/IVF Assistance/Painful periods
Mechanism of Acupuncture
The mechanism by which acupuncture can help in infertility is unknown. But its influence on plasma beta-endorphin levels via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland (HPA) axis (Chen 2004; Stener-Victorin2000; Stener-Victorin 2001), on uterine artery blood flow (Stener-Victorin 1996) and analgesic actions have been described (Stener-Victorin 1999). There are some other theories about how acupuncture may work for infertility:
• Improves ovarian function
o Improve Ovarian Endocrine
o Promote follicular development
o Promote Ovulation
• Improves endometrial receptivity
• Reduces postoperative complications
Chinese medicine(Acupuncture) for infertility
Chinese medicine believes that infertility is mainly caused by the dysfunction of organs and meridians, and the treatment methods for infertility mainly include internal medicine and acupuncture. The Chinese medicine approach will take a detailed look at the menstrual cycle and other important signs in Chinese medicine (tongue and pulse) in order to identify the root of the issues.
Xiao ai, Lin Wang. Meta-analysis of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in Treating Ovulatory Infertility.
Chinese Medicine Guide. 2017;23(20)