Fibroids and infertility with acupuncture treatment
Fibroids are benign tumour growing in uterus. Its occurrence is high about 20-50% in reproductive age group women. Fibroids can grow in inner layer, middle and outer layer of the uterus. Majority fibroids have no symptoms and do not require treatment. The most common symptom is heavy and prolonged menstrual period which could lead to anaemia. Other symptoms include pain in your abdomen, swelling in pelvic area, increased urination due to fibroids pressing on the bladder, and constipation because of fibroids pressing on the bowel. Fibroids growth is very slow and can be stimulated by hormones especially estrogen. Fibroids could become smaller and reduce in number when your estrogen level decrease, such as after the menopause.
What treatments are available for your fibroids?
If you have fibroids, what treatments are used by these women with fibroids. There was a survey from USA showing the use of medical, surgical and complementary treatments among women with fibroids. There were 933 premenopausal women ages 31-54 years with symptomatic fibroids who participated in the Study of Pelvic Problems. Participants were racially and ethnically diverse, with a mean age of 43 years. During study follow-up, 531 participants (57%) did not undergo uterus-preserving surgery (UPS) or hysterectomy, 250 (27%) had at least one UPS, and 152 (16%) underwent hysterectomy. Complementary and alternative treatments were commonly used, including exercise (45%), diet (34%), herbs (37%), and acupuncture (16%): participants reported significant symptom improvement and few side effects with these interventions. Women who did not undergo surgery during the study reported improvement in dyspareunia, pelvic pain, and menstrual cramps. However, women who underwent UPS reported greater overall resolution of "pelvic problems" compared with women who did not have surgical treatment. From this study we can see that uterus-preserving surgery are effective treatments for women with fibroids, but many women use hormonal or complementary treatments and report significant symptom improvement without surgical intervention.
Acupuncture can treat fibroids. There were many case reports in Chinese showing acupuncture made fibroids disappeared or shrank. For example, 20 years ago Wang Li reported 346 fibroids cases with acupuncture treatment. The fibroids were detected by ultrasound and the effects were confirmed by ultrasound tests. In 288 cases (83.2%) the fibroids disappeared; in 39 cases (11.3%) fibroids shrank over two third of original sizes; in 19 cases 5.5% the fibroids shrank less than two third of original sizes. Recent research showed that acupuncture reduces fibroids bleeding suggesting that acupuncture is a useful tool for fibroids nonsurgical treatment. Acupuncture modulates hormone balance which may contribute to the mechanisms. After acupuncture treatment, blood estrogen level is significantly decreased. Acupuncture strength body’s defence system which would be beneficial for fibroids treatment.
Case report: acupuncture reduced bleeding caused by uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors in uterus originating uterine smooth muscle cells. Heavy and painful menstruation was most common symptoms. If the fibroids grow in the submucous layer in the uterine, they cause heavier bleeding. Acupuncture was used in treating fibroids in China for centuries. Recent research supported this idea of using acupuncture to treat fibroids.
There was a 48 year old woman with submucous uterine fibroid and severe uterine bleeding. She received electroacupuncture to stop to bleeding. Doppler ultrasound test was applied to assess uterine blood flow and number of pads used during bleeding. They found that Dppler untrasound test showed blood flow in the uterine artery reduced with acupuncture stimulation. After a few sessions of acupuncture treatment the number of pads used reduced significantly during the bleeding period. Acupuncture is an effective approach for patients with fibroids.
Body acupuncture was most commonly used in treating uterine fibroids in hospitals in China. In 1994, Yan H and Wang J reported the effect of acupuncture on fibroids and its comparison with medicine including Chinese medicine and Western medicine. They found that acupuncture had better effect than medicine in treating fibroids. In addition, there was no side effect found in acupuncture treatment.
Fibroids may reduce fertility in women. Fibroids may interfere with sperm and ovum transport and embryo implantation. This occurs because in the case of fibroids, uterine cavity form or tube was distorted and uterus contracted abnormally. Local inflammation associated with the presence of fibroids may lead to a hostile environment which disrupts sperm and ovum transport and embryo implantation. Reduced blood flow in the endometrium also contributes to disturbed embryo implantation. Many research showed that fibroids are a risk factor for infertility, though there is still a debate. Women with fibroids have low IVF pregnancy success rate and low live birth rate. After removing fibroids, pregnancy rate increased significantly; also IVF success rate increased as well.
Fibroids affect pregnancy. They increase the miscarriage rate. There was a worry that during pregnancy fibroids may grow. However, some research showed that fibroids only grow in the first trimester and they get smaller late in pregnancy. In most cases fibroids don’t grow. The real worry is that fibroids increase miscarriage rate. This was seen a reduced live birth rate in IVF. After removing the fibroids, miscarriage rate significantly reduced. Fibroids lead to pelvic pain in pregnant women. Fibroids may also increase the rate of a few pregnancy complications during the second and third trimesters. Fibroids are associated with placental rupture, placenta previa, intrauterine growth restriction and fetal malposition and a higher rate of caesarean section.
Surgical treatment is conventional, though there was no sufficient evidence to support myomectomy improving fertility in women with fibroids
Fibroids may have a possible negative effect on fertility as mentioned above. Fibroids can be removed by surgery which is called myomectomy. Does myomectomy improves fertility? Metwally M et al from University of Southampton UK did a review from the data before June 2012. They analysed randomised controlled trials examining the effect of myomectomy on fertility outcomes in a groups of infertility women with uterine fibroids compared to no intervention or different surgical approaches performed. Their study showed that one study showed no evidence for a significant effect of myomectomy on the clinical pregnancy rate for intramural, submucous, combined intramural and subserous, and combined intramural and submucous. There was no evidence for a significant effect of myomectomy for any of the above types of fibroids on the miscarriage rate. Two studies compared open versus laparoscopic myomectomy and found no evidence for a significant effect on the live birth rate, clinical pregnancy rate, ongoing pregnancy rate, miscarriage rate, preterm labour rate and caesarean section rate. The authors concluded that there was insufficient evidence from randomised controlled trials to support myomectomy to improve fertility; no significant differences between the laparoscopic and open approach on the effect of fertility; though this evidence needs to be viewed with caution because of the small number of studies.
Wang Li Zhong Guo Zhen Jiu (1986) 6:27
Jacoby VL et al Eur Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol (2014) 182:220-5
Cakmark YO et al Fertil Steril (2011) 96:13-5
Yan H and Wang J Zhen Ci Yan Jiu (1994) 19:14-6
Metwally M et al Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2012) 11:CD003857
Welcome to my blog
Acupuncture specialist for Fertility, Facial rejuvenation, Pain relief, Fatigue.
Based at Harley Street and Kensington Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Over 25 year research and clinical experiences
Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture
I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out.
This blog is to introduce latest development and research of acupuncture and offer a chance of awareness of more treatment options for your condition. The blog is for information purpose only.
- My specialised areas include fertility, facial rejuvenation, acne, vulvodynia, various pain conditions, chronic fatigue, neurological conditions, digestive problems
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Kensington: for appointments at Anamaya center Kensington (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) please call at 02030110355 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 1 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG
2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground stationHarley Street: for appointments at Harley Street (Wednesdays) please call ALO clinic at 02076368845 or email at email@example.comAddressSuite 3 Harmont House20 Harley Street, London W1G 9PH5 min walk from Oxford Circus underground stationMy background: I became a qualified medical doctor 25 years ago in Western medicine in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Particularly I was trained with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. Furthermore I had training in dermatology and oral and maxilofacial surgery in China. Also I had training in fertility and had research experiences in uterine smooth muscles and blood vessels in China and the UK. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognised as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.
I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.
I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.
I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.
I have many publications including ebooks and articles.
I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practising, I have developed unique treatment approaches for infertility, skin aging, acne, vulvodynia, bladder pain, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain, fatigue, hot flushes, nerve pain, chronic prostatitis, Parkison's disease, MS, acid reflex, IBS etc to achieve best treatment results.My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients.
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