A recent study shows that using Chinese herbs and acupuncture with intrauterine insemination (IUI), a common fertility treatment, increases the number of pregnancies and births. http://www2.tau.ac.il/news/engnews.asp
This study was conducted at Tel Aviv Medical Center’s Fertility Research Institute, where they treated one group of women with infertility using IUI alone and another group with a combination of IUI and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), specifically acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Among the 29 women in the IUI plus TCM group, 65.5% conceived and 41.4% delivered healthy infants, while in the control group, only 39.4% conceived and 26.9% delivered healthy babies.
This research follows a recent study from Adelaide University where women using Chinese herbal medicine doubled their pregnancy rate, achieving “on average, a 60% pregnancy rate over 4 months compared with 30% achieved with standard western drug treatment or IVF over 12 months.” The study also found that the same improvement in pregnancy rates was true whether Chinese herbal medicine was used alone or in conjunction with either Western drugs or IVF. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22036524
The surprising thing about the Tel Aviv study is that the TCM group, which had more pregnancies and live births, was made up of older women .This suggests that acupuncture and herbs may make a bigger difference for older women who are having difficulty conceiving.
According to the authors, Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari and Keren Sela of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, “the average age of the women in the study group was 39.4, while that of the control group was 37.1. Normally, the older the mother, the lower the pregnancy and delivery rates.”