Traditional Chinese Medicine for Diminished Ovarian Reserve: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Tian Xia et al, Chinese Herbal Medicines

Volume 6, Issue 2, May 2014, Pages 93-102
Women with raised FSH levels are generally not good candidates for IVF. This review analysed results from 17 trials that examined the effect of Chinese herbal medicine in reducing FSH levels and supporting subsequent IVF cycles. Chinese herbal medicine was found in this review to be superior to pharmaceutical treatment and the effect lasted longer.



To assess the effectiveness and safety of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR).


A literature search was conducted in eight electronic databases for randomized controlled trials.


Seventeen randomized controlled trials involving 1174 patients were included. Meta-analysis indicated that TCM was superior to Western medicine (WM) in reducing basal serum FSH level [MD = −1.70, 95% CI (−2.63, −0.77); P = 0.0004] and FSH/LH (MD = −0.43, 95% CI [−0.56, −0.30]; P = 0.0001), and the effect was more obvious two months after the last treatment (MD = −4.60, 95% CI [−6.26, −2.90], P < 0.000 01 and MD = −0.56, 95% CI [−0.85, −0.28], P = 0.0001), and increasing antral follicle count (AFC) (MD = 0.44, 95% CI [0.04−0.83]; P = 0.03). The review also revealed the positive role of CMM as an adjuvant to IVF-ET in improving pregnancy rate (PR = 1.75, 95% CI [1.25, 2.46]; P = 0.001).


TCM, with its unique way of replenishing the kidney, may provide an effective and safe alternative therapy to patients with DOR.