Research

 

Male Factor Studies

Female Fertility Studies

Chinese Herbal Medicine Fertility Studies

Acupuncture and IVF

Acupuncture and Blood Flow to the Uterus

Acupuncture and PCOS

Acupuncture and Pregnancy

Breech Research

Labor Research

Lactation Research

Postpartum Depression Research

 

Male Factor Studies

Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities.

Edson Gurfinkel, Agnaldo P. Cedenho, Ysao Yamamura, Miguel Srougi  – Human Reproduction Division, Discipline of Urology, São Paulo Federal University, Paulista School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil  – Asian J Androl 2003 Dec; 5: 345-348

CONCLUSION(S): The Chinese Traditional Medicine acupuncture and moxa techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in patients with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause.

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Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature.

asianandrologySiterman S, Eltes F, Schechter L, Maimon Y, Lederman H, Bartoov B. Asian J Androl. 2009 Mar;11(2):200-8. doi: 10.1038/aja.2008.4. Epub 2009 Jan 5.

Source: Maccabi Fund Complementary Medicine, Kaufman Street, Tel Aviv 68012, Israel.

Conclusions: Low sperm count in patients with inflammation of the genital tract seems to be associated with scrotal hyperthermia, and, consequently, acupuncture treatment is recommended for these men.

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Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.

Pei J et al Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7 Fertility and Sterility

CONCLUSION(S): The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture. A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture, although we did not identify specific sperm pathologies that could be particularly sensitive to this therapy.

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A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermiaFERTSTER2

Dieterle et al Fertil Steril 2009 Oct; 92 (4): 1340–3  Fertility and Sterility

CONCLUSION(S): This recent small clinical trial randomized 57 patients who had extremely low sperm counts, to acupuncture and placebo acupuncture groups. After receiving acupuncture twice weekly for 6 weeks motility of sperm (but not overall count) was found to increase significantly. The authors conclude that the results of the present study support the significance of acupuncture in male patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. More evidence with larger trials needs to be accumulated before the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in male infertility can be evaluated.

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Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study.andrologia

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B., Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9.

Source: Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Conclusions: Acupuncture may be a useful, non-traumatic treatment for males with very poor sperm density, especially those with a history of genital tract inflammation.

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Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality.archivesofandrology

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Zabludovsky N, Bartoov B. Arch Androl. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61.

Source: Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Conclusions: Patients exhibiting a low fertility potential due to reduced sperm activity may benefit from acupuncture treatment.

Female Fertility Studies

Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review.CompTher Med

Ried K, Stuart K., 2011, Complement Ther Med. 2011 Dec;19(6):319-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.

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Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in the reproductive system.ANJ

Stener-Victorin E, Wu X., Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden. elisabet.stener-victorin@neuro.gu.se

Abstract: The use of acupuncture to treat reproductive dysfunction has not been well investigated. Only a few clinical studies have been reported, most of which are flawed by poor design and a lack of valid outcome measures and diagnostic criteria, making the results difficult to interpret. Experimental studies, however, show that acupuncture has substantial effects on reproductive function. Here we review the possible mechanisms of action of acupuncture on the reproductive system and its effects on reproductive dysfunction, focusing in particular on polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common endocrine and metabolic disorder in women. Clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates that acupuncture is a suitable alternative or complement to pharmacological induction of ovulation, without adverse side effects. Clearly, acupuncture modulates endogenous regulatory systems, including the sympathetic nervous system, the endocrine system, and the neuroendocrine system. Randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the clinical effects of acupuncture in reproductive disorders.

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Effects of acupuncture on LIF and IL-12 in rats of implantation failure. AJRI

Gui J, Xiong F, Yang W, Li J, Huang G. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2012 May;67(5):383-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2011.01097.x. Epub 2012 Jan 9.  – Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture could improve the poor receptive state of endometrium by promoting LIF and IL-12 secretion to improve blastocyst implantation.

 

Chinese Herbal Medicine Fertility Studies

Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review.

CompTher Med(also in the Female Fertility Section)

Ried K, Stuart K., Complement Ther Med. 2011 Dec;19(6):319-31.

CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.

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Chinese herbal medicine and clomiphene citrate for anovulation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JACM

See CJ, McCulloch M, Smikle C, Gao J., J Altern Complement Med. 2011 May;17(5):397-405.

CONCLUSIONS: Chinese herbal medicine may increase the effectiveness of CC therapy. However, the RCTs are of poor methodological quality and small sample size, and the results require confirmation with rigorously controlled studies.

 

Acupuncture and IVF

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

AcupMed.cover

di Villahermosa DI, Dos Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP. Acupuncture in Medicine 2013 Jun;31(2):157-61. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010269. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Source: Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Clinic for Human Reproduction, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil.

RESULTS: The clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7% vs 7.1% vs 10.7%; p=0.0169).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.

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Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment.Fertility & Sterility

Magarelli PC, Cridennda DK, Cohen M., Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1870-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.067. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

CONCLUSION(S): In this study, there appears to be a beneficial regulation of CORT and PRL in the Ac group during the medication phase of the IVF treatment with a trend toward more normal fertile cycle dynamics.

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Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial.FertSter5

Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1341-6. Epub 2006 Apr 5. Westergaard LG, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J. – Fertility Clinic Trianglen, Hellerup, Denmark.

CONCLUSION(S): Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture. Repeating acupuncture on ET day +2 provided no additional beneficial effect.

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Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer.AcupMed.cover

Stener-Victorin E, Humaidan P., Acupunct Med. 2006 Dec;24(4):157-63.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiolopgy, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden. elisabet.stener-victorin@neuro.gu.se

Abstract: During the last five years the use of acupuncture in female infertility as an adjuvant to conventional treatment in assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased in popularity. The present paper briefly discusses clinical and experimental data on the effect of acupuncture on uterine and ovarian blood flow, as an analgesic method during ART, and on endocrine and metabolic disturbances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Further it gives a summary of recent studies evaluating the effect of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer on pregnancy outcome. Of the four published RCTs, three reveal significantly higher pregnancy rates in the acupuncture groups compared with the control groups. But the use of different study protocols makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. It seems, however, that acupuncture has a positive effect and no adverse effects on pregnancy outcome.

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Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.FertSter4

Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4. Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. – Department of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany.

CONCLUSION(S):  Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

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Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. bmj

Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Bouter LM. BMJ. 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39471.430451.BE. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

CONCLUSIONS: Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.

Acupuncture and Blood Flow to the Uterus

Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.HumanReproduction

Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M., Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fertility Centre Scandinavia, University of Gothenburg, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.

CONCLUSION:  Compared to the mean baseline PI (pulsatility index), the mean PI was significantly reduced both shortly after the eighth EA treatment (P < 0.0001) and 10-14 days after the EA period (P < 0.0001).

Acupuncture and PCOS

Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized controlled trial.AMJ

Johansson J, Redman L, Veldhuis PP, Sazonova A, Labrie F, Holm G, Johannsson G, Stener-Victorin E.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar 12.  University of Gothenburg.

CONCLUSION(S): 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.

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Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.AJPEM

Jedel E, Labrie F, Odén A, Holm G, Nilsson L, Janson PO, Lind AK, Ohlsson C, Stener-Victorin E., Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jan;300(1):E37-45. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00495.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Source: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Conclusions: Low-frequency EA and physical exercise improved hyperandrogenism and menstrual frequency more effectively than no intervention in women with PCOS. Low-frequency EA was superior to physical exercise and may be useful for treating hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea.

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Current evidence of acupuncture on polycystic ovarian syndrome.GEJ

Lim CE, Wong WS., Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Jun;26(6):473-8. doi: 10.3109/09513591003686304.

Source: Faculty of Medicine, South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. celim@unswalumni.com

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment to PCOS as the adverse effects of pharmacologic interventions are not expected by women with PCOS. Acupuncture therapy may have a role in PCOS by: increasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycaemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss and anorexia. However, well-designed, randomised controlled trials are needed to elucidate the true effect of acupuncture on PCOS.

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Low-frequency electro-acupuncture and physical exercise improve metabolic disturbances and modulate gene expression in adipose tissue in rats with dihydrotestosterone-induced polycystic ovary syndrome.EJ

Mannerås L, Jonsdottir IH, Holmäng A, Lönn M, Stener-Victorin E., Endocrinology. 2008 Jul;149(7):3559-68. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-0053. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Conclusions: EA and exercise ameliorate insulin resistance in rats with PCOS. This effect may involve regulation of adipose tissue metabolism and production because EA and exercise each partly restore divergent adipose tissue gene expression associated with insulin resistance, obesity, and inflammation. In contrast to exercise, EA improves insulin sensitivity and modulates adipose tissue gene expression without influencing adipose tissue mass and cellularity.

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Hypothetical physiological and molecular basis for the effect of acupuncture in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.JME

Stener-Victorin E., Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013 Jul 5;373(1-2):83-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Box 434, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. elisabet.stener-victorin@neuro.gu.se

Abstract: Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that acupuncture may be a safe alternative or complement in the treatment of endocrine and reproductive function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This review describes potential etiological factors of PCOS with the aim to support potential mechanism of action of acupuncture to relieve PCOS related symptoms. The theory that increased sympathetic activity contributes to the development and maintenance of PCOS is presented, and that the effects of acupuncture are, at least in part, mediated by modulation of sympathetic outflow. While there are no relevant randomized controlled studies on the use of acupuncture to treat metabolic abnormalities in women with PCOS, a number of experimental studies indicate that acupuncture may improve metabolic dysfunction. For each aspect of PCOS, it is important to pursue new treatment strategies that have fewer negative side effects than drug treatments, as women with PCOS often require prolonged treatment.

Pregnancy and Acupuncture Studies

Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. obstgyn

Manber R, Schnyer RN, Lyell D, Chambers AS, Caughey AB, Druzin M, Carlyle E, Celio C, Gress JL, Huang MI, Kalista T, Martin-Okada R, Allen JJ., Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;115(3):511-20. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181cc0816.

Source: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA. rmanber@stanford.edu

CONCLUSION: The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

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The current use of acupuncture during pregnancy and childbirth.COOG

Xu J, MacKenzie IZ., Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Mar;24(2):65-71. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32834fead1.

Source: Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture therapy may offer some advantage over conventional treatment in the management of hyperemesis gravidarum and postcaesarean section pain and these areas warrant further study. Rigorous randomized studies, particularly those using objective measures, have failed to identify any obvious benefits from acupuncture for many of the other conditions studied.

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Effects of acupuncture and stabilising exercises as adjunct to standard treatment in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: randomised single blind controlled trial.BMJ2

Elden H, Ladfors L, Olsen MF, Ostgaard HC, Hagberg H., BMJ. 2005 Apr 2;330(7494):761. Epub 2005 Mar 18.

Source: Perinatal Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Sahlgrenska Academy, East Hospital, 41685 Gothenburg, Sweden. helen.elden@vgregion.se

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture and stabilising exercises constitute efficient complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture was superior to stabilising exercises in this study.

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Acupuncture for pelvic and back pain in pregnancy: a systematic review.ajog

Ee CC, Manheimer E, Pirotta MV, White AR., Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;198(3):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.11.008.

Source: Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. ccee@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract: The objective of our study was to review the effectiveness of needle acupuncture in treating the common and disabling problem of pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Two small trials on mixed pelvic/back pain and 1 large high-quality trial on pelvic pain met the inclusion criteria. Acupuncture, as an adjunct to standard treatment, was superior to standard treatment alone and physiotherapy in relieving mixed pelvic/back pain. Women with well-defined pelvic pain had greater relief of pain with a combination of acupuncture and standard treatment, compared to standard treatment alone or stabilizing exercises and standard treatment. We used a narrative synthesis due to significant clinical heterogeneity between trials. Few and minor adverse events were reported. We conclude that limited evidence supports acupuncture use in treating pregnancy-related pelvic and back pain. Additional high-quality trials are needed to test the existing promising evidence for this relatively safe and popular complementary therapy.

 

BREECH RESEARCH

Using moxibustion in primary healthcare to correct non-vertex presentation: a multicentre randomised controlled trialAcupMed.cover

Jorge Vas, José Manuel Aranda-Regules, Manuela Modesto, María Ramos-Monserrat, Mercedes Barón,

Inmaculada Aguilar, Nicolás Benítez-Parejo, Carmen Ramírez-Carmona, Francisco Rivas-Ruiz, Acupunct Med 2013;31:31-38 doi:10.1136/acupmed-2012-010261

Conclusions:Moxibustion at acupuncture point BL67 is effective and safe to correct non-vertex presentation when used between 33 and 35 weeks of gestation. We believe that moxibustion represents a treatment option that should be considered to achieve version of the non-vertex fetus.

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Moxibustion for Correction of Breech Presentation: A Randomized Controlled Trials_cover_jcv061913

Francesco Cardini, MD; Huang Weixin, MD JAMA. 1998;280:1580-1584

CONCLUSION(S):  Among primigravidas with breech presentation during the 33rd

week of gestation, moxibustion for 1 to 2 weeks increased fetal activity during the

treatment period and cephalic presentation after the treatment period and at

delivery.

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Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study.JMFNM

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Apr;15(4):247-52.

Neri I, Airola G, Contu G, Allais G, Facchinetti F, Benedetto C.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

CONCLUSIONS:  Acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth.

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Acupuncture conversion of fetal breech presentation.FDT

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2003 Nov-Dec;18(6):418-21.

Habek D, Cerkez Habek J, Jagust M.

Clinical Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinical Hospital Osijek, Osijek, Croatia.

CONCLUSIONS:  We believe that AP 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.

LABOR RESEARCH

Influence of acupuncture on duration of labor.GOI

Zeisler H, Tempfer C, Mayerhofer K, Barrada M, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, AKH, Austria. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1998;46(1):22-5.

CONCLUSION(S):  This 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.

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Electroacupuncture for cervical ripening prior to labor induction: a randomized clinical trial.ArchOB

Gribel GP, Coca-Velarde LG, Moreira de Sá RA., Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2011 Jun;283(6):1233-8. doi: 10.1007/s00404-010-1526-x. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Source: Maternidade Escola Hospital, Serviço de Obstetrícia, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rua das Laranjeiras, 180 (Laranjeiras), Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22240-003, Brazil. gisele.gribel@ig.com.br

CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that electroacupuncture can be used to obtain cervical ripening, with similar results as compared with misoprostol, with a significantly higher frequency of vaginal deliveries and without occurrence of obstetric complications.

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Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labor at term–a randomized controlled trial.

Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, Austria.  Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2001 Dec 17;113(23-24):942-6

CONCLUSION(S):   Acupuncture at points LI4 and SP 6 supports cervical ripening at term and can shorten the time interval between the EDC and the actual time of delivery.

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 THE USE OF ACUPUNCTURE AS A ROUTINE PRE-BIRTH TREATMENT

Article by Debra Betts (Debra Betts practises in New Zealand. She is also a tutor at the New

Zealand School of Acupuncture in Wellington.)

Acupuncture and Lactation

Clinical observation on the effects of electroacupuncture at Shaoze (SI 1) in 46 cases of postpartum insufficient lactation.JTCM

Wei L, Wang H, Han Y, Li C., Journal of Traditional Chin Med. 2008 Sep;28(3):168-72.

CONCLUSIONS: Electroacupuncture at Shaoze (SI 1) was obviously effective for postpartum insufficient lactation.

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A randomised-controlled trial in Sweden of acupuncture and care interventions for the relief of inflammatory symptoms of the breast during lactation.

MidwiferyKvist LJ, Hall-Lord ML, Rydhstroem H, Larsson BW., Midwifery. 2007 Jun;23(2):184-95. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Floor 2, Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, SE-251 87 Sweden. linda.kvist@helsingborgslasarett.se

KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: If acupuncture treatment is acceptable to the mother, this, together with care interventions such as correction of breast feeding position and babies’ attachment to the breast, might be a more expedient and less invasive choice of treatment than the use of oxytocin nasal spray. Midwives, nurses or medical practitioners with specialist competence in breast feeding should be the primary care providers for mothers with inflammatory symptoms of the breast during lactation. The use of antibiotics for inflammatory symptoms of the breast should be closely monitored in order to help the global community reduce resistance development among bacterial pathogens.

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Acupuncture treatment as breastfeeding support: preliminary data.JACM

Neri I, Allais G, Vaccaro V, Minniti S, Airola G, Schiapparelli P, Benedetto C, Facchinetti F., Journal of Alternative Complementary Med. 2011 Feb;17(2):133-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0714. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Source: Mother-Infant Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy. neri.isabella@unimore.it

CONCLUSIONS: Such preliminary data suggest that 3 weeks of acupuncture treatment were more effective than observation alone in maintaining breastfeeding until the third month of the newborns’ lives.

Acupuncture and Postpartum Depression

Randomized non-invasive sham-controlled pilot trial of electroacupuncture for postpartum depression.JAD

Chung KF, Yeung WF, Zhang ZJ, Yung KP, Man SC, Lee CP, Lam SK, Leung TW, Leung KY, Ziea ET, Taam Wong V., J Affect Disord. 2012 Dec 15;142(1-3):115-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Source: Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China. kfchung@hkucc.hku.hk

CONCLUSION: Both electroacupuncture and non-invasive sham acupuncture were effective for postpartum depression. Further studies utilizing larger sample size, better recruitment strategies, and home-based acupuncture treatment are warranted.