Warming-needle moxibustion and electroacupuncture

A research team from Maternity and Child Care Centers of Fujian Province, China reported that warming-needle moxibustion could increase the endometrial thickness to a certain extent, thus improving the endometrial receptivity, enhancing the embryo implantation rate, and improving the pregnancy outcome.

The study enrolled forty infertility women who visited the TCM department of Maternity and Child Care Centers in Fujian Province from October 2015 to October 2016. These women had mature follicle and successful ovulation according to B ultrasound monitoring, but their endometrial thickness was thinner than 7 mm. The women were divided into warming-needle moxibustion group (group A, 20 cases) and medication group (group B, 20 cases). In group A, acupuncture, warming-needle moxibustion and electroacupuncture were conducted at different clinical stage, no medication was administrated.

Acupuncture treatment for 20 patients in group A

Basic Points:Zigong(EX-CA1), ST 36, GV20, GB26), CV4, CV6, CV3, SP6 and Luanchao (1.5 cun above EX-CA1). The acupoint selection schemes in each phase were different according to clinical stages. 

Treatment was given from the 7th day of menstruation. Patients were asked in supine position, after routine disinfection, perpendicular insertion was performed with a depth of 1–1.5 cun by adopting Hwato 30 mm × 40 mm filiform needles. Hwato SDZ-II electroacupuncture device was applied. Continuous wave was used with the intensity that the patients can tolerate. The treatment was conducted for once every other day and 30 min per time till menstrual onset, no treatment was given in the menstrual period, and the treatment lasted for 3 menstrual cycles.

Modification

(1) Follicular phase

The principle was to supplement kidney and essence, supplement kidney and fortify the spleen, and KI3, KI12, ST28 and SP10 were added on the basis of basic acupoints. Warming-needle moxibustion was conducted on CV 4 and CV 6. Electroacupuncture was given on bilateral KI 12, bilateral Zigong, bilateral Luanchao, bilateral ST36 and bilateral SP10.

(2) Ovulatory phase

The principle was to supplement kidney, nourish and soothe the liver, and LR14), GB27, SP10 and SP9 were added on the basis of basic acupoints. Warming-needle moxibustion was conducted on bilateral ST29, bilateral EX-CA1. Electroacupuncture was given on bilateral GB27, bilateral SP10 and bilateral SP 9.

(3) Luteal phase

The principle was to supplement kidney and calm the heart, HT7 and ST29 were added on the basis of basic acupoints. Warming-needle moxibustion was conducted on CV4 and SP8. Electroacupuncture was given on bilateral KI12 and bilateral ST29.

In group B, progynova was given to the patients from the 7th day of menstruation to the 14th day after ovulation (2 tablets, bid oral administration in the morning and evening). The treatment lasted for 3 menstrual cycles, and the endometrial thickness changes and pregnancy rate of the patients in the two groups were compared after treatment.

The results showed that the endometrial thickness of patients in both groups increased after treatment comparing with the thickness before treatment. The average endometrial thickness in group A i.e. Chinese medicine treatment increased from (5.23 ± 1.57) mm before treatment to (8.31 ± 2.80) mm after treatment, while the average endometrial thickness in group B increased from (5.27 ± 0.99) mm before treatment to (8.32 ± 1.97) mm after treatment, and the differences were statistically significant (both P < 0.05). The increase of endometrial thickness of the patients in group A after treatment was slightly larger than that in group B, and the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). After treatment for 3 menstrual cycles, the pregnancy rate of infertility women in group A was 25%(5/20) and 15%(3/20) in group B.

Reference

Xiumi YO, Juan YA, Jinbang XU, Ying LI, Huang J, Qiuping LI, Zhang J, Jingjing DU, Huang S. Clinical study on warming-needle moxibustion for infertility patients with thin endometrium. World journal of acupuncture-moxibustion. 2018 Mar 1;28(1):25-8.

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