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Sequential therapy for kidney-tonifying via traditional Chinese medicine effectively improves the reproductive potential and quality of life of women with decreased ovarian reserve: a randomized controlled study

Wenxu Duan 1Yueyi Cheng 2

Am J Transl Res. 2021 Apr 15;13(4):3165-3173. eCollection 2021.


Objective: To investigate the effect of sequential therapy for kidney-tonifying via traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) on improving the fecundity and quality of life (QOL) of women with decreased ovarian reserve (DOR).

Methods: A prospective and randomized controlled study was conducted, in which 80 infertile patients with DOR were selected in our hospital and randomly divided into the test group (n=40) and the control group (n=40). The control group was given sequential therapy of artificial menstrual cycle via administration of estrogen and progesterone, and the test group received sequential therapy for kidney-tonifying via TCM. Then, Kupperman indices, hormone levels, ovarian reserve functions, menopause specific quality of life questionnaire (MENQOL) scores, as well as the pregnancy rates within one year before and after treatment were compared between the two groups.

Results: Compared with the control group, the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and resistance index (RI) of ovarian stroma were significantly decreased in the test group (all P<0.001), while the levels of estradiol (E2), anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), mid-luteal phase E2, progesterone, antral follicular count (AFC), and ovarian diameter (OVD) of patients were notably increased in the test group (all P<0.001). After treatment, the Kupperman indices and MENQOL scores of the test group were considerably lower than those of the control group (P<0.001). No adverse effects were observed in the test group, whereas the incidence of adverse effects in the control group was 12.50%, although without significant difference between the two groups (P>0.05). The pregnancy rate within one year in the test group was significantly higher than that of the control group (47.50% vs. 25.00%) (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Sequential therapy for kidney-tonifying via TCM could effectively improve the clinical symptoms, hormone levels, and ovarian function, increase ovulation quality and pregnancy rate, and improve the QOL of DOR patients.