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Acupuncture Regulates Fertility Hormones Without Any Side Effects

Following a complete gynecologic-endocrinologic workup, 45 itfertile women sufering from oligoamenorrhea (n = 27) or luteal insuficiency (n = 18) were treated with auricular acupuncture.

Results were compared to those of 4.5 women who received hormone treatment. Both groups were matchedfor age, duration of infertility, body mass index, previous pregnancies, menstrual cycle and tuba1 patency.

Women treated with acupuncture had 22 pregnancies, 11 after acupuncture, four spontaneously, and seven after appropriate medication. Women treated with homiones had 20 pregnancies, five spontaneously, and 15 in response to therapy. Four women ofeachgroup had abortions.

Endometriosis (normal menstrual cycles) was seen in 35% (38%) of the women of each group who failed to respond to therapy with pregnancy. Only 4% of the women who responded to acupuncture or hormone treatment with a pregnancy had endometriosis, and 7% had normal cycles. In addition, women who continued to be infertile after hormone therapy had higher body mass indices and testosterone values than the therapy responders from this group.

Women who became pregnant after acupuncture suflered more often from menstrual abnormalities and heal insuflciency with lower estrogen, thyrotropin (TSH) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) concentrations than the women who achieved pregnancy after hormone treatment. Although the pregnancy rate was similar for both groups, eumenorrheic women treated with acupuncture had adnexitis, endometriosis, out-ofphase endometria and reduced postcoital tests more often than those receiving hormones.

Twelve of the 27 women (44%) with menstrual irregularities remained infertile after therapy with acupuncture compared to 15 of the 27 (56%) controls treated with hormones, even though hormone disorders were more pronounced in the acupuncture group. Side-eflects were observed only during hormone treatment.

Various disorders ofthe autonomic nervous system normalized during acupuncture. Based on our data, auricular acupuncture seems to ofer a valuable alternative therapy for female infertility due to hormone disorders.

References

Gerhard et al. (1992) Auricular Acupuncture in the Treatment of Female Infertility. Gynecol. Endocrinol. 6, 171-181.

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