4th July 2012: Women with three or more failed IVF attempts could benefit from Chinese herbs in future IVF cycles, results from a Japanese study suggest

A Chinese herbal medicine study conducted in Japan that was published this Spring has suggested women with three or more failed IVF cycles could benefit from taking herbs alongside future IVF treatments.

This was a study involving 30 women with unexplained infertility who had failed to become pregnant after three or more cycles of IVF.  A combination of herbs by the name of MACH (macrophage-activating Chinese herbs) was given orally to the women in the study.

Results of this preliminary study suggest that the combination of herbs used in this study could significantly increase the percentage of good quality early stage blastocysts.  The rate of good quality early blastocysts also increased amongst all patients.   

In the 19 patients who had specified desiring late stage blastocyst transfer, Chinese herbs significantly increased the percentage of late stage blastocysts.  They also showed a significantly decreased plasma follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentration on the day of egg collection. 

There were reportedly no adverse events as a result of being administered the Chinese herbs and the authors of this study conclude that administration of this combination of Chinese herbs could improve the embryo quality in women with refractory infertility.


The summary above has been written based on the information available from the published PubMed abstract to the article that can be accessed here

Lily Lai