The effectiveness, safety, and economic evaluation of Korean medicine for unexplained infertile women: a multi-center, prospective, observational study protocol

Kim, S.-H.; Jo, J.; Kim, D.-I.

Medicine 96(51): E9360


ISSN/ISBN: 1536-5964
PMID: 29390524
DOI: 10.1097/md.0000000000009360
Accession: 065577453

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Infertility is a condition in which a woman has not been pregnant despite having had normal intercourse for 1 year. The number of unexplained infertile females is increasing because of late marriage customs, as well as environmental and lifestyle habits. In Korea, infertile females have been treated with Korean medicine (KM). However, these effects have not been objectively confirmed through clinical trials. Therefore, this study was conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of herbal medicine treatment in infertile patients and to demonstrate the economic feasibility through economical evaluation with assisted reproductive technology.This study is designed as a multicenter, single-arm clinical trial. All participants included will be from 3 Korean Medicine hospitals in Korea and will voluntarily sign an informed consent agreement. All recruited patients will conduct related surveys and tests, and be provided with treatment according to their menstrual cycle. Patients will take herbal medicines for 4 menstruation cycles and receive acupuncture and moxibustion treatment at 3 times (menstrual cycle day 3, 8, 14) during 4 menstruation cycles. They will also undergo an approximately 4 menstrual cycle treatment period, and 3 menstrual cycle observation period. If pregnant during the study, participants will take the herbal medicine for implantation for about 15 days. In this study, the primary outcome will be the clinical pregnancy rate, whereas the secondary outcome will include the implantation rate, ongoing pregnancy rate, and live birth rate.Ultimately, this study will provide clinical data regarding the effectiveness and safety of KM treatment for females with unexplained infertility and important evidence for establishing standard KM treatments for unexplained infertility. Moreover, we will identify the most cost-effective way to treat unexplained infertility. Korean Clinical Trial Registry (CRIS), Republic of Korea: KCT0002235. Date: February 21, 2017 (retrospectively registered).