Acupuncture Boosts Chances of Getting Pregnant

Updated 21 November 2015
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Acupuncture Boosts Chances of Getting Pregnant

For many couples, the diagnosis of infertility brings much emotional, physical and financial stress. Couples are left feeling helpless and hopeless. This added stress can further interfere with fertility. More and more of these patients are turning to unconventional, alternative, or complementary approaches to assist in improving their fertility. Acupuncture is one adjunctive treatment that is gaining in popularity.
Recent studies confirm that acupuncture treatment contributes to increase the pregnancy rate in women who undergo IVF treatment. Research suggests that Acupuncture works to increase blood flow to the uterus, reducing uterine contractions and regulating stress hormones which may enhance the chance of implantation of the embryos to the uterine wall and successful pregnancy.
Acupuncture can affect male fertility as well by improving the Spermatogenesis (the production and maturation of sperm cells) process.
One such study was conducted on a group of infertile men with pathological sperm abnormalities and a poor fertilization rate in at least two cycles of IVF. These men were given acupuncture treatment for 8 weeks (two sessions every week) and the IVF cycles were repeated following the acupuncture treatment. The fertilization rate rose significantly from 40% prior to treatment to 66% following acupuncture treatment.
It should be noted that Spermatogenesis takes approximately 75 days. For this reason, the minimum recommended treatment for male factor infertility should be twice per week for 10-12 weeks.
Despite continued research showing efficacy of acupuncture treatment there are many that say it is nothing more than placebo. In the end it doesn't matter that much whether the success of acupuncture is a placebo effect or not. The bottom line is that acupuncture is relatively safe, and if it improves fertility it may be a worthwhile option for many patients.

The best first step to treating any fertility problem is to contact a specialist. If you do decide to try acupuncture, look for a certified, licensed acupuncture physician with experience in treating infertility and working with IVF. Always inform your doctor prior to trying any adjunctive therapies if undergoing IVF procedure.

Dr. Matthew A. Tracey, OMD
Consultant, Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture
Director, Complementary Medicine Center
International Medical Center, Jeddah


Jazz Pharma’s sleep disorder treatment gets US FDA nod

Updated 21 March 2019
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Jazz Pharma’s sleep disorder treatment gets US FDA nod

  • The drug, solriamfetol, will treat excessive sleepiness in adult patients with narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea
  • The patent of Jazz's narcolepsy drug, Xyrem, were declared invalid by a US appeals court in July
The US Food and Drug Administration approved Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc’s treatment for patients with a form of sleep disorder, the company said on Wednesday.
The drug, solriamfetol, will treat excessive sleepiness in adult patients with narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Solriamfetol is expected to be commercially available in the United States following the final scheduling decision by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Jazz said in a statement.
The approval comes as Jazz is trying to reduce its reliance on its blockbuster narcolepsy drug, Xyrem, whose patents were declared invalid by a US appeals court in July.
Xyrem is an approved treatment for excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy in patients with narcolepsy. It brought in sales of $1.4 billion in 2018 and accounted for about 70 percent of company’s revenue.
“Jazz is trying to reduce its reliance on Xyrem, and solriamfetol will be one of the drugs it plans to launch to do that,” Mizuho Securities USA analyst Irina Koffler said ahead of the agency’s decision.
“Solriamfetol is expected to be an important driver of both diversification and growth,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Randall Stanicky said in a note ahead of the approval.
Solriamfetol is expected to bring in revenue of $314 million by 2024, Stanicky said.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder with overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep, while obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that can cause breathing to repeatedly stop and start.
“Narcolepsy is very disabling to people as they often get diagnosed young and stop their education and drop out of high school or college,” Koffler said.
“Sleep apnea is a different problem in the sense that a lot of people don’t know they have it, have trouble breathing at night and they even fall asleep during the day.”