Pregnancy Acupuncture

Infertility is an important reproductive health issue that affects people worldwide.[1] According to the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), infertility is “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”.[2] Pregnancy acupuncture aims to detect and treat underlying imbalances which may be causing pregnancy problems.

Western medicine offers several approaches to infertility management including surgery, drugs, in vitro-fertilisation (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART).[5] However, the success of these treatments are not always guaranteed and may fail to result in a viable pregnancy and live birth.[6] Furthermore IVF treatments can be costly and emotionally draining. In these instances, holistic approaches to infertility management such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and pregnancy acupuncture may be able to assist women experiencing infertility.[7] This alternative therapy is often cheaper and less invasive than the conventional western medical treatment.[8] However,  awareness of TCM treatment and pregnancy acupuncture for infertility is generally low and often not suggested by western medical practitioners.[9] In the last decade, studies have shown that a small proportion of women in the western countries have sought herbal medicines including Chinese herbal medicine for fertility purposes.[10]

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[2] Zegers-Hochschild, F.; Adamson, G.D.; de Mouzon, J.; Ishihara, O.; Mansour, R.; Nygren, K.; Sullivan, E.;
van der Poel, S. The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART)
and the World Health Organization (WHO) Revised Glossary on ART Terminology, 2009. Hum. Reprod. 2009,
24, 2683–2687
[3] Mascarenhas, M.N.; Flaxman, S.R.; Boerma, T.; Vanderpoel, S.; Stevens, G.A. National, regional, and global
trends in infertility prevalence since 1990: a systematic analysis of 277 health surveys. PLoS Med. 2012, 9,
e1001356.
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[7] Alfred A, Ried K. Traditional Chinese Medicine – women’s experiences in the treatment of infertility. Aust Fam Physician 2011; 40:718 – 22; Ried K, Afred A. Quality of life, coping strategies and support needs of women seeking Traditional Chinese Medicine for infertility and viable pregnancy in Australia: a mixed methods approach. BMC Women’s Health 2013; 13:17.
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[19] Kastner J. Chinese Nutrition Therapy. Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). 2nd ed. Stuttgart, New York: Thieme; 2009.
[20] Kastner J. Chinese Nutrition Therapy. Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). 2nd ed. Stuttgart, New York: Thieme; 2009.
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[23] Ried K1, Chinese herbal medicine for female infertility: an updated meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Feb;23(1):116-28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25637159, [Accessed , 15 May. 2018].
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[27] Ried K, Stuart K. Efficacy of traditional Chinese herbal medicine in the management of female infertility: A systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2011;19(6): 319-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22036524, [Accessed , 15 May. 2018].

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