The representation of the ovary on the ear

A possible somatotopy of the ovary was researched by the gynecologist Dr Ilaria Cavaliere on a group of 21 women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. The patients, mainly affected by idiopathic infertility, followed the same protocol of treatment which was aimed at stimulating the

ovaries with purified gonadotropin for 10-16 days. Follicular growth was checked every day or every 2 days until an approximate diameter of 18-20 mm was reached. PPT was performed in all patients before starting hormonal treatment (T0) and at the end of it (T1); nine out of the 21 patients showed a cluster of 13 new points on the upper part of the triangular fossa (on the left of Fig. 5.48). Afterwards ovulation was induced by 10 000 U of chorionic gonadotropin and 36 hours later the oocytes were aspirated from the follicles. Before this operation the tenderness of the auricles was tested again (T2): three patients showed no sensitivity whereas in the other six a threefold number of tender points appeared on the triangular fossa and, in a minor ratio, on the ascending part of the helix also (on the right of Fig. 5.48). The following day PPT was carried out a third time (T3), showing the same number of points but with an average increase in tenderness for each.

Dr Cavaliere made the following observations regarding her pilot study:

1. It is possible that the representation of the ovary needs to be searched out in the upper part of the triangular fossa.

2. Pharmacological induction of ovulation, when effective, sensitizes this area to a much greater extent in responders than in non-responders.

3. There is also a minor area of sensitization of the ascending branch of the helix which seems to correspond to the Chinese external genital area and/or to the French uterus on the internal border.

As frequently happens on the auricle, the reflex points of different anatomical structures may stratify on the same area. This is the case, for example, with thrombophlebitis of the right vena poplitea which generally sensitizes an area overlapping the representation of the ovary. This area, however, corresponds also to an important acupuncture point for gynecological disorders, such as SP6 sanyinjao whose tenderness at pressure may be reduced by the needle contact test (NCT) (see Ch. 8).

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Fig. 5.48 'New' tender points in nine women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer; at the end of pharmacological treatment with purified gonadotropin (T1) (left); after inducing ovulation with 10 000 U of chorionic gonadotropin (T2) (right). Dots = lateral surface; cross on sector 26 (right image) = internal border of the helix.

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