Traditional Chinese Medicine Impacts on Human Embryonic Implantation

The condition of artery uterine blood flow, endometrial thickness, and morphology is considered an important parameter for the success of IVF and embryo transfer. Adequate endometrial thickness with an increase of blood flow to the uterus will optimize the pregnancy rate. Thus, how to use the novel methods to improve the function of uterus blood flow is a critical issue for the treatment of infertility.


Measurement of arterial uterine blood flow impedance by Doppler ultrasonography was introduced in clinical examination. Stener-Victorin et al. [1] demonstrated that electroacupuncture treatments performed in 10 infertile women resulted in a downregulation of GnRH analogue to avoid the effect of endogenous hormones to decrease uterine blood flow impedance to a normal level. They also used the rat model to show that low-frequency electroacupuncture (2Hz) could increase ovarian blood flow.


The mechanism was mediated via the ovarian sympathetic nerves through supraspinal reflexes by regulating adrenoceptors [2]. Some Chinese herbs such as Salvia miltiorrhiza, Ligusticum chuanxiong and Artemisia anomale have effects in activating blood and stimulating menstrual flow by increasing the plasma level of estradiol and PGF2-a of the ovary, but conversely decreasing ovarian PGE2 content [3].


In a report by Jiang et al. [4], they combined TCM drugs for invigorating Shen, and promoting blood circulation with salpingostomy could increase the rate of infertility through the effect of enhancing the follicular development and increasing the thickness of endometrium.


Therefore, the impact of TCM in improving uterine artery blood flow and endometrial thickness also provides encouraging information to potentiate its outcome on fetal implantation.


1 Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electroacupuncture. Hum Reprod 1996; 11:1314–1317.

2 Manni L, Lundeberg T, Holma¨ng A, et al. Effect of electro-acupuncture on ovarian expression of alpha (1)- and beta (2)-adrenoceptors, and p75 neurotrophin receptors in rats with steroid-induced polycystic ovaries. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2005; 3:21.

3 Li W, Zhou CH, Lu QL. Effects of Chinese materia medica in activating blood and stimulating menstrual flow on the endocrine function of ovary-uterus and its mechanisms.

4 Jiang YC, Liang RN, Liu RT. Effects of combined therapy of salpingostomy and bushen huoxue drugs on fallopian tube obstructive infertility. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 2006; 26:325–328.

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