Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.
Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7
This study measured the effects of electro-acupuncture on the uterine artery. It found that after 8 acupuncture sessions, (2 per week for 4 weeks) the resistance to flow in the uterine arteries was reduced. Said another way, it was easier for blood to get through the uterine arteries to the uterus. The effects of the treatment were sustained when measured 2 weeks after the treatment, so the effects lasted significantly longer than the treatment period.
In order to assess whether electro-acupuncture (EA) can reduce a high uterine artery blood flow impedance, 10 infertile but otherwise healthy women with a pulsatility index (PI) >=3.0 in the uterine arteries were treated with EA in a prospective, non-randomized study. Before inclusion in the study and throughout the entire study period, the women were down-regulated with a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRHa) in order to exclude any fluctuating endogenous hormone effects on the PI. The baseline PI was measured when the serum oestradiol was <=0.1 nmol/l, and thereafter the women were given EA eight times, twice a week for 4 weeks. The PI was measured again closely after the eighth EA treatment, and once more 10-14 days after the EA period. Skin temperature on the forehead (STFH) and in the lumbrosacral area (STLS) was measured during the first, fifth and eighth EA treatments. Compared to the mean baseline PI, the mean PI was significantly reduced both shortly after the eighth EA treatment (P < 0.0001) and 10-14 days after the EA period (P < 0.0001). STFH increased significantly during the EA treatments. It is suggested that both of these effects are due to a central inhibition of the sympathetic activity.