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‘Oriental medicine rarely potent for pregnancy’
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2018.05.14 16:49
  • Updated 2018.05.14 16:49
  • comments 0

Local government-backed Oriental medicine therapies for women with subfertility showed a meager 1.9 percent success rate in pregnancy in three districts of Ulsan, an activist group said.

According to Barun Medicine Institute (BMI), a non-government organization of physicians, none of the seven women who were treated with Oriental medicine in one district was successful in getting pregnant in 2017. In another district, the success rate was 6.7 percent or one out of 15.

In the third district, no one out of the 30 women who received Oriental medicine treatment under the government-funded program was able to conceive naturally in 2017. One person had improved fertility through Oriental medicine therapy, received another fertility treatment at an obstetrics and gynecology clinic, and got pregnant.

Except for the single successful case where the woman received help from the ob/gyn clinic, there was no success in the third district, BMI said.

“According to the results of the 2017 fertility project through Oriental medicine in three districts in Ulsan, only one out of the 52 people succeeded in getting pregnant,” BMI said.

“Oriental medicine practitioners’ association in Ulsan claim that we are intentionally disparaging the effectiveness of Oriental medicine but how would they explain about these results?” the institute added.

In the third district, one woman applied for the fertility program having no idea that she was already pregnant, BMI said. Her case was canceled after a month.

“It is absurd that the fertility treatment was about to be given to a pregnant woman. This shows how the local government’s Oriental medicine fertility program is poorly run,” BMI said.

The group also criticized an Oriental medicine clinic for using the successful pregnancy case as a promotion tool, without explicitly stating that the success stemmed partially from an ob/gyn clinic’s help.

“One Oriental medicine clinic said on its blog that the clinic produced the first successful pregnancy case among the 14 Oriental medicine clinics that participated in the fertility program. But it is wrong to use the result of the government-supported program, which was out of the taxpayers’ money, for a clinic advertisement,” BMI said.

“The success case of the clinic must have been the one who got pregnant through medically assisted reproductive procedure right after Oriental therapy. If so, advertising as if the pregnancy was a result of Oriental therapy without mentioning the procedure is illegal,” it added.

The Oriental medicine practitioners’ association in Ulsan said on May 4 in a statement, “Western medicine community should stop playing down the Oriental medicine clinics’ fertility program which has a high success rate.”

“If they continue to deceive the public and the media, we will take strong action,” it added.


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