Background: Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) can present with coexistent subfertility caused by diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Recent texts suggest that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may improve pregnancy outcomes for women with RPL.
Objective: This article reports the outcome of the treatment of a female of advanced maternal age. She had diagnoses of DOR and RPL.
Design, Setting, and Patient: This 42-year-old patient with DOR and RPL presented in a private acupuncture practice, located in Bellevue, WA.
Intervention: The patient received TCM treatment that involved weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy from June 2006 to May 2007.
Main Outcome Measures: The outcome sought was a live birth after 24 weeks of gestation.
Results: After another miscarriage in September 2006, this patient conceived a viable pregnancy in December 2006, after 6 months of treatment. She continued treatment through 20 weeks and delivered a healthy son at 39.5 weeks of gestation.
Conclusions: Subfertile women with RPL may benefit from TCM treatment. More research is needed to examine the safety and effectiveness of TCM as a treatment for RPL.
Key Words: Spontaneous Abortion, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Infertility
BACKGROUND: THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS STUDY WAS TO DE- TERMINE THE EFFECTS OF ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT AS AN ADJUNCTIVE THERAPY ON THE OUTCOME OF IN VITRO FERTILI- ZATION (IVF)/INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION (ICSI).
MATERIAL/METHODS: WE CONDUCTED A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY OF 238 PATIENTS WHO UNDERWENT CONVENTIONAL IVF/ ICSI ALONE OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH ACUPUNCTURE OVER A COURSE OF 2 YEARS. PATIENTS IN THE TWO TREATMENT GROUPS WERE MATCHED IN TERMS OF AGE AND DIAGNOSIS. ACUPUNCTURE WAS ADMINISTERED IN TWO SESSIONS 5 TO 7 DAYS PRIOR TO AND ON THE DAY OF EMBRYO TRANSFER.
RESULTS: THERE WERE NO DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS IN TERMS OF FERTILIZATION RATE, PREGNANCY OR IMPLANTATION RATES, AND ENDOMETRIAL THICKNESS. THE NUMBER OF OOCYTES RETRIEVED (P < 0.005) AND THE NUMBER OF FIRST TRIMESTER MISCARRIAGES WERE SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER IN THE GROUP RECEIVING ACUPUNCTURE (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: ACUPUNCTURE REDUCES MISCARRIAGE RATES IN PATIENTS UNDERGOING IVF/ICSI POSSIBLY SECONDARY TO STRESS RELIEF.
Keywords: Acupuncture; IVF/ICSI; Pregnancy Rates; Implantation Rate; Miscarriage