Acupuncture For Fertility After Ectopic Pregnancy

Researchers from the Fudan University Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital tested the benefits of acupuncture for patients receiving emergency ectopic pregnancy surgery. A ruptured fallopian tube or heavy bleeding necessitates surgical intervention. Laparoscopic surgery often involves a salpingectomy, which is surgical removal of a fallopian tube. The fallopian tube may be left intact after repair and salpingostomy can be implemented to restore tubal patency. However, it may still be inadequate to prevent subsequent obstruction which then impairs fertility.

After careful clinical trials, the Fudan University researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine does improve tubal patency and reduces the mass of fallopian tube obstructions. The researchers compared two groups of patients. Each group received ectopic pregnancy surgery. One group also had acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine. Hysterosalpingography (HSG) imaging and ultrasonography confirm that acupuncture and herbal medicine promote tubal patency by reducing masses in the fallopian tubes.

This confirms the studies done by Yan et al. and Wang et al. Yan et al (2012) used acupuncture points Guilai (ST29), Zhongji (CV3), Shuidao (ST28), Zigong, and Sanyinjiao (SP6) to treat salpingitis-obstructive infertility and achieved a 93.3% total effective rate. Wang et al (2009) concluded that warm needle acupuncture decreases the recurrence of ectopic pregnancies after surgery for the treatment of complications from chronic pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

This conclusion corroborates other studies suggesting that acupuncture is useful in treating inflammatory conditions.

References:

  1. Li XR, Zhang GF, Zhang MW, Chang CF & Zhang D. (2014). Clinical Observations on the Effect of Combined Treatment with Acupuncture and Medicine on Tubal Patency after Ectopic Pregnancy Surgery. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 33(9).
  2. Chen JX & Zhang XM. (2014). Oviduct pregnancy mechanism research. International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 41(1): 36.
  3. Wang Y, Yao YQ, Ji XL, et al. (2009). Warm acupuncture on Taichong and Ren meridians in treating recurrent pelvic inflammatory disease. JiLin TCM. 29(6): 499-500.
  4. Yan XL, Zou W & Sun XW. (2012). Acupuncture-moxibustion in the treatment of salpingitis obstructive infertility after abortion. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture. 28(2): 15-17.