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A survey comparing TCM diagnosis, health status and medical diagnosis in women undergoing assisted reproduction
  1. Meaghan Coyle, researcher, acupuncture practitioner1,
  2. Caroline Smith, associate professor2
  1. 1
    The University of Adelaide, Australia
  2. 2
    School of Health Science, The University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
  1. meaghan.coyle{at}


Introduction For many women, undergoing assisted reproductive technology can be a difficult experience, and can result in changes in physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Recent research has suggested that acupuncture may be helpful for women undergoing assisted reproductive technology. To date, there is no information describing the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndromes seen in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology, or relationships between TCM and Western medicine diagnoses.

Objective To examine the health status of women undergoing assisted reproductive technology from both Western and Chinese medicine perspectives.

Methods One hundred and eighty women were included in the study. All underwent a TCM diagnosis, 177 (98.3%) completed the quality of life questionnaire SF36. Information about Western medicine diagnosis was collected from case notes and was available for 176 (97.7%) women.

Results Women in the trial reported poorer health on several domains of the SF36 compared with the South Australian population. The most common TCM diagnosis was ‘Kidney Yang deficiency’, diagnosed for 53.9% of patients. A TCM diagnosis of Qi or ‘Blood stagnation’ was associated with poorer quality of life on the mental health, emotional role function and social function domains of the SF36. No associations were found between TCM diagnosis and physical or general health components of the SF36.

Conclusions Associations between TCM and reproductive health diagnoses were demonstrated. Emotional health and wellbeing is an important aspect of patient care that needs to be addressed in clinical practice and research studies, as the findings suggest that this aspect of their health is often poorer during assisted reproductive technology.

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