Not ovulating? Check your NSAIDs.

Not ovulating? Check your Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.

The results of a new study show that diclofenac, naproxen and etoricoxib significantly inhibit ovulation in women with mild musculoskeletal pain. Of the women receiving NSAIDs, only 6.3 percent (diclofenac), 25 percent (naproxen) and 27.3 percent (etoricoxib) ovulated, compared with 100 percent of the control group. (Source: Science Daily)

Not ovulating? Aleve might be a problem.

2015 Study on NSAID use and Ovulation

OP0131 Effects of Some Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on Ovulation in Women with Mild Musculoskeletal Pain

Key Points

Not ovulating? Low pregnancy rate? Acupuncture may help.

Acupuncture treatment has been shown to increase ovulation and fertility rates in various populations, such as:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

A 2013 study found “repeated acupuncture treatments resulted in higher ovulation frequency in lean/overweight women with PCOS and were more effective than just meeting with the therapist. Ovarian and adrenal sex steroid serum levels were reduced with no effect on LH secretion.”

IVF/Failed embryo implantation

Researchers published their findings in 2013, citing “acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.”

How does acupuncture positively effect infertility?

Western medicine would describe acupuncture’s positive effect differently than Chinese medicine, because of our differing diagnostic systems. In the medical review “Acupuncture for infertility: Is it an effective therapy?” researchers describe acupuncture’s positive effect on infertility as being likely due to the treatment’s ability to:

  • modulate “the central and peripheral nervous systems, the neuroendocrine and endocrine systems, the ovarian blood flow, and metabolism.”
  • improve “the outcome of IVF-ET, and the mechanisms may be related to the increased uterine blood flow, inhibited uterine motility, and the anesis of depression, anxiety and stress.”
  • show a “positive role in male infertility, the mechanism of which is not yet clear.”

For us East Asian Medicine Practitioners, we would say acupuncture helps balance heat and cold in the body, as well as excess and deficiency. Our common diagnoses for infertility may include (but are not limited to) Liver and Kidney deficiency, qi and blood stagnation, or pathogenic heat. Depending on the diagnosis, symptoms and treatment plan would differ.

Can acupuncture help me?

If you’re not ovulating and would like to find out how acupuncture might be helpful for you, consider an evaluation with a licensed acupuncturist. Had great success with fertility after seeing an acupuncturist? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!


Warm Needle
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs & Supplements

What is Moxa (a.k.a. Moxibustion)? What does it treat?

What is moxa? Artemisia vulgaris Sturm13035

What is moxa?

Moxibustion refers to a type of external heat therapy in which a dried and processed herb, Artemisia vulgaris (i.e. moxa), is burned either directly or indirectly over acupoints or meridians on the skin. The herb, known as 艾葉 (Ai Ye) or mugwort leaf, can also be used internally in Chinese medicine herbal formulas. Moxa is a common adjunct to acupuncture; and while they often complement each other’s action, sometimes moxa treatment by itself can be even more effective.

What is moxa’s therapeutic function?

The heat produced by burning Ai Ye warms the qi and Blood in the channels, and is used to both treat disease and maintain vitality. Additionally, the burned herb can expel Cold and Dampness. Moxa is therefore commonly used to remedy chronic, weakened conditions and to reduce pain and increase range of motion when cold and damp have blocked the channels.

What is moxa effective at treating?

In Chinese medicine, moxibustion is used to treat cold conditions. While small sample size in randomized-controlled trials often presents a challenge to producing firm conclusions, favorable effects of moxibustion treatment have been reported in systematic review and meta-analysis of the following conditions:

How do I know if moxa is appropriate for my condition?

The best way to know if moxa could be helpful in addressing your concerns would be to get a differential diagnosis, provided by an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist. Moxibustion is not appropriate for patients with febrile disease or over the low back/abdomen in women during pregnancy.

More on Moxa