Dr Maggie Ju Acupuncture London

Acupuncture helps get pregnant, reduce miscarriages and increase Live birth rate.

Acupuncture potentially affect fertility in a few ways suggested by research.

First, acupuncture can induce vasodilation and blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, which are vital to reproduction. By inhibiting central sympathetic nerve tone.

Acupuncture also makes the body produce endorphins relieving the stress response associated with infertility and infertility-related treatment.

Acupuncture balances hormones. The release of neurotransmitters—such as dopamine, serotonin, neuropeptides, and oxytocin initiated by acupuncture could influence the hypothalamus–pituitary–ovarian axis to promote ovulation, regulate menstrual cycles, and increase overall fertility.

Acupuncture could affect glucose uptake in the skeletal tissue, decrease hyperinsulinemia, and might increase insulin clearance in polycystic ovary syndrome.

Recent data-analyses found that Acupuncture has been effective for increasing clinical pregnancy rates by 28%–32%, Ongoing pregnancy rate by 42%, and Live birth rate by 30%, compared to no treatment. Acupuncture does not increase the risk of miscarriage. Some analysis has shown that acupuncture reduced the miscarriage rate by 43%. Additionally, acupuncture was 42% more effective to increase live births when women had previously failed a cycle, and baseline pregnancy rate continues to mediate acupuncture's effects.

References

Lee E. Hullender Rubin, Med Acupunct. December 2019; 31(6): 329–333.

Had miscarriage to get pregnant again?  Acupuncture can help. 

An early miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy at ≤13 weeks’ pregnancy. About one in four pregnancies, where a woman has missed a menstrual period and has a positive pregnancy test, ends in early miscarriage. Nearly 125 000 early miscarriages occur annually in the UK, accounting for 50 000 hospital admissions.

Early miscarriage is usually diagnosed by pelvic ultrasound after a woman has experienced vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain. Women with a complete miscarriage, where expulsion of pregnancy tissue is complete, are managed conservatively without further intervention. Women with a missed or incomplete miscarriage may require further intervention.

Miscarriage can be a physical and emotional challenge. It is a major life event and can have a potentially devastating psychological impact on the woman in addition to the physical effects such as bleeding and pain. 

There is a good chance that you will give birth to a healthy baby in the future. Only about 20% of women who have had a miscarriage have another miscarriage the next time they become pregnant.

What would you do to help for the recovery from a miscarriage?

After miscarriage, the women’s body need to recover emotionally and physically, get hormones rebalanced, get rid of the inflammation from the miscarriage, recover from the psychological impact that it caused.

Tried acupuncture? Acupuncture can help reduce stress and release the emotions, rebalance hormones, reduce inflammation to get you ready to get pregnant again. Some women have difficulty to conceive after miscarriage and acupuncture can help to get pregnant faster.

References

https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.l6438

Recurrent miscarriage

Recurrent miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies in the first trimester. It affects 1-2% of women, half of whom have no identifiable cause. 

Uterine blood flow changes can be seen in the uterus and ovaries during the menstrual cycle and uterine blood flow affects uterine receptivity and an important factor in achieving a normal pregnancy. Differences in uterine blood flow impedance between fertile and infertile women and reduced uterine blood flow may be one cause of unexplained infertility. Recent research also has suggested that impaired uterine blood flow is associated with recurrent pregnancy loss. In women with recurrent miscarriage their blood flow resistance in uterine artery was elevated which means the blood flow was reduced. As we can see that reduced blood circulation in endometrium and placenta is the reason for many miscarriages.

Acupuncture was applied to treat miscarriage in China. There was a case report by Zhang in Tianjin gynecology hospital showing effectiveness of acupuncture in women with recurrent miscarriage. This report is involved 558 cases with recurrent miscarriage. 86.6-93% cases were successful.

In early pregnancy your body starts to change because of the hormonal changes in the body. For example, the uterine and vaginal lining becomes ticker and breast becomes tender. When miscarriage occurred, your body has to go back to normal from the pregnancy loss, physically and emotionally.

Acupuncture can help you recover from miscarriage and get your body ready for next pregnancy. Acupuncture stimulates nerve endings to helps hormone balance; improves ovarian and uterine blood flow; reduces inflammation and reduces stress. All of these could help prevent miscarriage from happening again and have a successful pregnancy.

Here is a case report. Sophia had two miscarriges in 6 weeks and 12 weeks before. After this, she had been trying to get pregnant for a year without success. She started acupuncture treatment, after three cycles, she got pregnant and this time the pregnancy stayed to full term and she had a lovely girl.

References

Duckitt K and Qureshi A Clin Evid (Online) 2008 pii:1409

http://www.pharmnet.com.cn/tcm/zjdq/zjzl/100031.html

Alexandros Sotiriadis BMJ 2004 http://www.bmj.com/content/329/7458/152

Short luteal phase with infertility and miscarriage? acupuncture can help

Women’s period cycle is divided into two phases: follicular phases when follicles develop and mature. The time for eggs to mature and release may vary between different women and same woman in different period cycle. This is the reason why period cycles vary to a great extent. When one of the eggs becomes mature, it is released from the ovary. As soon as egg is released, luteal phase began. Dwon KA and Gibson M studied body basal temperatures (BBT) charts and the luteal phase defect from three menstrual cycles of 20 normal women and 20 women with luteal phase defect. They found that luteal phase length in the normal women was 13.4 days and that of the women with luteal phase defect was 11.8 days. 30% of the women with luteal phase defect had luteal phases with less than 11 days and 5 of these women had severely endometrial problems. None of the normal women had luteal phase less than 11 days. Luteal phase does not vary much with length of period. It is normally12-14 days. After ovulation, the remaining part of the follicle forms the corpus luteum which continues to grow and produces a hormone called progesterone. Progesterone is very important for making inner lining of womb suitable for fertilized egg to implant and supporting for early pregnancy. The inner lining of womb is like a comfortable bed for the egg. If the luteal phase is shorter than 12 days, the bed is not ready. This may be because the corpus luteum dies earlier than12 days, your body may not produce enough progestone to make a good bed for the embryo. Luteal phase defect affects 10% women with infertility and over 60% women with miscarriage. The symptoms of luteal phase defect include a short period cycle, spotting, low progesterone, disrupted BBT after ovulation, and other nonspecific symptoms such as low back pain, vagina dryness etc.

 

There are three causes that could lead to luteal phase defect. 1) Poor follicle production: After ovulation, remaining follicle becomes corpus luteum. If follicle development is poor, this would create poor quality of corpus luteum which does not produce enough progesterone, resulting in poor uterine inner lining. 2) Premature failure corpus luteum. Corpus luteum does not last as long as normal corpus luteum does. This can occur even if initial quality of follicle is good. Again this makes poor uterine lining. 3) Failed response from uterine lining. In this case, uterine inner lining does not respond well to normal progesterone level. As a result it is not well developed for implantation.

 

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, luteal phase defect is caused by kidney or spleen qi deficiency. Or it is caused by liver qi stagnation. Qi deficiency and stagnation cause blood stagnation and blockage of channels. As a result corpus luteum dies earlier. This is agreed with recent research. During corpus luteum formation, it becomes one of the most highly vascularised organs in the body. Blood flow in the corpus luteum is important for the development of the corpus luteum and maintenance of luteal function. It is important for progesterone synthesis and release. The corpus luteum blood flow in women with luteal phase defect is significantly lower than women with normal luteal function. Increasing corpus luteum blood flow improves its function.

 

Acupuncture improves ovarian and corpus luteum blood flow. It is very effective to regulate period cycle and restore normal luteal phase. There was a report in Chinese Journals showing effectiveness of acupuncture on luteal phase defect with infertility. 50 patients were diagnosed luteal phase defect. Their age range is from 26 to 42 and average age 32. The history of difficulty to conceive is from 6 months to 4 years. Patients were received acupuncture. Pregnancy rate was calculated. Blood eostrogen and progesterone level was tested; egg development, ovulation and inner lining of womb were checked to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture. Result showed that 40% women achieved pregnancy during 3-6 months. In remaining 53% women, dominant matured egg size was increased, womb inner lining was thicker, blood oestrogen and progesterone level was increased comparing to those before the treatment. Follow up study with those pregnant showed that there was no miscarriage occurred.

 

Another report from China was about effectiveness of acupuncture treatment on patient with recurrent miscarriage. There were 558 cases with recurrent miscarriage 4 times. 211 cases were treated with acupuncture between 1973-1976; success rate was 86%; 347 cases were treated with acupuncture between 1982-1984, success rate was 93.4%.

 

References

Takasaki A et al J Ovarian Res. (2009) 14:2:1

Hongwei Yang and Xueyan Huang Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (2010) 10:626-628

Downs KA and Gibson M Fertil (1983) 40:466-8

Acupuncture is for miscarriage

Threatened miscarriage is a common complication of early pregnancy increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature labour. Currently there is limited evidence to recommend any biomedical pharmacological or self-care management.

A study was to examine the feasibility of offering acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment for women presenting with threatened miscarriage. The result has shown that for women receiving acupuncture there was a statically significant reduction with threatened miscarriage symptoms including bleeding, cramping and back pain compared with the control. They conclude that acupuncture was a feasible intervention and reduced threatened miscarriage symptoms when compared to a touch intervention. Further research is required to further explore acupuncture use for this common complication and whether it can reduce the incidence of miscarriage.

References

Betts D et al BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 Oct 7;16(1):298.

 

Acupuncture for subchorionic hematoma

Subchorionic hematoma or subchorionic hemorrhage is bleeding beneath the chorion membranes that enclose the embryo in the uterus due to partial detachment of the chorion membranes from the wall of the uterus. They are the most common cause of vaginal bleeding in 9-20 weeks pregnancy. Most women present with light vaginal bleeding, but some are asymptomatic with incidental ultrasound findings. The causes of subchorionic hematoma are not clear. The presence of a uterine malformation, a history of recurrent pregnancy loss, or pelvic infections are all possible risk factors to subchorionic hematoma. The symptoms of subchorionic hematoma are vaginal bleeding without abdominal pain; some patients may experience cramping. The increased pregnancy loss includes the volume of the bleeding, location and pregnancy weeks.

There was a paper that reported acupuncture for threatened miscarriage with subchorionic hematoma. They found that acupuncture combined with dextroprogesterone can improve the effective rate of patients with threatened abortion in early pregnancy complicated with subchorionic hematoma.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559017/

Jia-Man Wu et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2019 Oct 12;39(10):1046-50.