TCM and Fertility
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), using a combination of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, is helpful in enhancing one’s fertility, increase the chance of pregnancy either naturally or through Fertility Treatment.
The main objectives of Chinese Medical Therapy include:
- Improve the function of the ovaries
- Strengthen the immune system and reduce stress
- Improve Semen quality & quantity
- Improve diet & life style
If you have been trying to conceive for a year without success, you may be facing some difficulties in trying to get pregnant, or medically classified as subfertility. Subfertility can be primary or secondary. Primary subfertility means that you have not had any pregnancies in the past. Secondary subfertility means that you have had successful pregnancies, miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies in the past and now could not get pregnant after one year of trying from your last pregnancy.
There are many causes of subfertility. In western medicine, several factors such as ovarian factors, fallopian tube factors, uterine factors & cervical factors are some of the classification of the causes of subfertility. According to Chinese Medicine, in order for fertilization to occur, the yin, yang, qi and blood of the kidneys all need to be perfectly balance. The cause of subfertility is mainly because one of the elements is out of balance. Therefore, although Chinese Medicine subscribe to a different philosophy of the understanding of the condition, it acts as a complement to the western treatment of subfertility.
Some of the classification of subfertility according to Chinese Medicine is as below:
(1) Vacuity pattern
(a) Blood & Yin Vacuity
This condition is associated with various problems with the eggs, such as inability of the egg to be fertilized, the fertilized eggs not being able to implant itself and grow, or the lack of any eggs
(b) Qi & Yang Vacuity
This is associated with inadequate energy to activate the uterus and leading to inability of the egg to be fertilized or for the fertilized egg to implant itself and grow.
(2) Repletion patterns
Pathologenic factors such as cold, heat, phlegm and dampness, stagnant of qi and stasis of blood have the effect on the uterus and blocking its channels. Hence, fertilization is difficult.
TCM treatment and IVF
Pre-In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
This treatment protocol includes twice or thrice weekly acupuncture for 4-6 weeks prior to IVF treatment and aims to increase blood supply to uterus and ovaries. This protocol helps develop healthy follicles and increase chances of implantation.
During IVF (Ovarian stimulation)
This treatment aims to decrease the side effects of IVF treatment such as bloating, insomnia, anxiety, moodiness, fatigue, hot flushes etc.
Acupuncture after egg collection
Acupuncture after egg collection can help body recover after the procedure and reduces the side effects of anaesthesia.
Acupuncture pre/post embryo transfer
Acupuncture around the time of embryos transfer has been shown medically to increase chances of pregnancy by up to 65% (British Medical Journal, 2008). This is by far one of the most effective treatments to enhance chances of pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy treatment
Acupuncture twice weekly and herbs for first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This treatment aims to enhance blood circulation to the uterus and strengthens the immune system.
Acupuncture and herbal treatment for sperm problems. This can help to improve sperm count, sperm mobility and decrease number of abnormal sperms.