TCM and Fertility / TCM in Pregnancy and Childbirth
TCM treatment during pregnancy:
Some conditions in pregnancy can be treated by the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine:
(a) Recurrent Miscarriages
There had been a great interest looking at the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in preventing recurrent miscarriages and improve live birth rates. The use of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to prevent recurrent miscarriages had been widely practice amongst the Oriental Community. However, a randomised controlled trial to address the effectiveness of the treatment is eagerly awaited.
(b) Hyperemesis gravidarum
The use of acupuncture to treat severe vomiting in early pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum) had been shown to be effective in some of the studies. In some of the European countries, Acupuncture had been integrated to Western Medical practice in this area.
(c) Induction of Labour
The use of Acupuncture for induction of labour had been shown to be effective.
(d) Moxibustion for Breech
Following the publication of a large medical trial, obstetricians are now delivering babies presenting with breech via Caesarean section, in fear of the effect of vaginal birth to the wellbeing of the baby. Acupuncture and moxibustion had been shown to increase the chance of babies turning to head down position. A recent randomised controlled trial carried out in Spain showed that the use of acupuncture & moxibustion is effective and safe to correct non-vertex presentation. This in turn reduce the incidence of Caesarean section in women with babies presenting in breech.
(e) Pain relief in labour
TCM plays an important role in Chinese community to improve gestation period conditions such as pernicious vomiting, miscarriage, pregnancy-induced hypertension syndrome, abnormal amniotic fluid volume, abnormal fetus growth, etc.
TCM treatment after childbirth:
– postnatal depression
Chinese have a systematic confinement plan, which helps women recover from childbirth. TCM also helps improve conditions such as post-partum abdominal pain, fever, lochiorrhea, abnormal sweating, paruria, body pain, constipation, hypogalactia, hypergalactia.
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(4) Luo H, Liu JP, Li Q. Methodological issues and suggestions for improvement in randomized controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicine for recurrent miscarriage. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012 Jun;10(6):604-14.
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(6) Vas J, Aranda-Regules JM, Modesto M, Ramos-Monserrat M, Barón M, Aguilar I, Benítez-Parejo N, Ramírez-Carmona C, Rivas-Ruiz F. Using moxibustion in primary healthcare to correct non-vertex presentation: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2013 Mar;31(1):31-8. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010261. Epub 2012 Dec 18.