This clinical trial carried out in north east China, recruited 180 women diagnosed with endometriosis who were doing a long down regulated IVF protocol. The women who were given acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine achieved significantly higher pregnancy rates than those in the other groups who did not have acupuncture.
Those of us who have experience in treating endometriosis with Chinese medicine are familiar with the benefits it brings patients in terms of reduced pain and possibly increased rates of conception. This pilot study, a collaboration between Guangzhou Medical University in China and RMIT university in Melbourne, is particularly interesting to us since it measured objective parameters such as immune factors (antigens and antibodies) shown to be abnormally raised in patients with endometriosis. A course of treatment with Chinese herbs not only improved pain but significantly reduced the levels of these immune factors. This is one way that Chinese medicine may improve fertility in endometriosis.
This is just one trial of many carried out in China which looks at the clinical effectiveness of treatment of endometriosis with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. The investigators report that symptoms and signs of the disease are treated effectively without side effects.