Hijama (wet cupping) for female infertility treatment: a pilot study

Hassan Abduljabbar, Anhar Gazzaz, Samiha Mourad, Ayman Oraif


Background: To assess the effectiveness of wet cupping (Hijama) as a treatment of female factor infertility. The primary outcome measured was pregnancy rates after Hijama. The secondary outcome measured was the effect on the reproductive hormonal profile before and after Hijama.

Methods: A pilot clinical study was conducted for the use of Hijama as treatment for female infertility at King Abdulaziz University Hospital from September 2013 to May 2015. Inclusion criteria included: patients with female factor infertility between 20-50 years of age. Exclusion criteria were women who were menopausal, male factor infertility and pregnancy. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. Upon inclusion in the study, an interview with the participant was done. Blood tests were done at the initial visit which included a complete blood count and hormonal profile (FSH, LH, Estradiol, Progesterone, TSH) if not done already. Patients had repeated Hijama each month if pregnancy did not occur.

Results: Out of 59 women, 31 (52.5%) had primary infertility and 28 (47.5%) had secondary infertility. The duration of infertility ranged from 1 to 22 years. In 40 women (67.8%), the partner had a normal semen analysis and 19 (32.2%) had oligospermia. 12 women had an abnormal hystosalpngiogram (20.3%) with two women with complete bilateral tubal blockage. 36 women (61%) had a normal hormonal profile (FSH, LH, TSH, Prolactin). 12 patients (20.3%) became pregnant after hijama; 7 patients had only one or two sessions of Hijama and one patient had 7 sessions. Factors that were found to affect pregnancy rate included: patient with no dysmenorrhea (p 0.034), secondary infertility diagnosis (p 0.005) and history of OCP use (P 0.04). There were significant changes of the hormonal profile before and after Hijama.

Conclusions: Hijama might be beneficial in infertile women to achieve a pregnancy. Further studies are needed to confirm the findings from this study.


Acupuncture, Ancient health care, Complementary treatment, Hijama, Wet cupping

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