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East meets West to boost fertility
Date:1/9/2012

Traditional Chinese medicine has long been used to ease pain, treat disease, boost fertility, and prevent miscarriage. Known in the Western medical community by its acronym TCM, these traditional remedies include herbal preparations and acupuncture. Now Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that a combination of TCM therapy and intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a winning solution for hopeful mommies who are having trouble conceiving.

In the first study that measures the effectiveness of both herbs and acupuncture in combination with IUI infertility treatment, Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari and Keren Sela of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Medical Center say that the results, which have been published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine, show a significant increase in fertility when the therapies are administered side-by-side.

When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy. The method is as "close to nature" as possible and can be used by women employing sperm donors, or after a partner's sperm is centrifuged to enhance its motility in the uterus.

Age-old therapies, contemporary medicine

Dr. Lev-Ari, a cellular biologist and head of the integrative medicine unit, works with both medical doctors and TCM practitioners at Tel Aviv Medical Center's Fertility Research Institute. He and Sela, a TCM practitioner specializing in women's health, have long been interested in how Chinese herbal and acupuncture therapies could work to boost Western-style fertility treatments, contributing to an increase in conception and take-home baby rates.

In a retrospective study, Dr. Lev-Ari and Sela followed the progress of 29 women between the ages of 30 and 45 who were receiving IUI treatment combined with TCM therapy, and compared their results to a control group
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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