Use of traditional Chinese medicine among pregnant women in Taiwan

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 Nov;107(2):147-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.07.024. Epub 2009 Aug 27.


Objective: To investigate the patterns of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use among pregnant women in the National Health Insurance program in Taiwan.

Methods: Women who gave birth in Taiwan in 2006 were identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database. Claims for reimbursement following TCM ambulatory visits by these women were analyzed.

Results: In total, 20.9% of women in the study who gave birth in 2006 used TCM during pregnancy, with older women more likely to utilize this form of care (23.9% of women >35 years of age vs 16.2% of women <20 years of age). There was an increase in the use of TCM for pregnancy-related problems such as hypertension (194 women before pregnancy vs 2163 during) and nausea/vomiting (220 women before vs 1648 during). The predominant modality (88.4%) of TCM treatment during pregnancy was herbal preparation.

Conclusion: Traditional Chinese medicine, with the exception of acupuncture, is popular among pregnant women in Taiwan. In addition to its efficacy, the safety of TCM during pregnancy requires future investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / therapy
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Morning Sickness / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal